The term “landlord” and “property manager” are often used interchangeably, but even if you’ve been renting for years it’s important to know the difference. We spoke to Head of Network at McGrath Property Management, Michael Conolly who highlighted the difference and their responsibilities to you as a tenant.
A property manager acts as a buffer between the landlord and the tenant. They are hired by the landlord to oversee property rules and regulations, ensuring nothing slips through the cracks. Property managers act on behalf of the landlord to:
Advertise the property
Source and screen potential tenants
Manage financial accounts
Organise and source tradespeople for repairs and maintenance
The landlord is the owner of the property. They have the right to take over any of the tasks the property manager does, but they cannot duplicate them. A landlord is required to:
Ensure the property is vacant and clean on the day a tenant is due to move in
Keep the property in good repair
Ensure all appliances, fittings and fixtures meets Standards Australia ‘A’ rating
Ensure all external doors have locks and windows can be secured
Let the tenant have peace and quiet to enjoy the property
What’s the difference?
Whom you choose to rent from can make a big difference in your rental experience. Conolly recommended tenants look for rentals which are primarily handled by a property manager for peace of mind. He warned that although most landlords do the right thing, they are not subject to the same regulations as property managers including:
Regular audits and compulsory licenses
Trusted account systems to collect rents
Connections with qualified tradespeople
Understanding your lease, and the roles of each party, will help you avoid unwanted surprises down the track. So before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you know the subtle differences between the two.