What do you love or hate about your property manager/landlord?

6 Replies

I'd like to get the perspective of tenants who deal with a property manager, whether it's a company or your actual landlord.

If you love your property manager, what specific things do they do that makes you like them?

If you hate your property manager, what do they do that irks you, and what would you prefer they do instead?

I'll add my own limited experience to get the conversation started.  We're currently renting a house and dealing directly with our landlord on all issues.  When we've had to contact him a couple of times for repair issues, he always got back to us the same day and often had a contractor out at the site within 24 hours to fix the problem (and these were not urgent problems).

On the horrible property manager side, I recently helped my sister get into a short-term condo rental.   We arrived at the property 5 minutes early, but 10 minutes after the appointment time, the manager had not yet arrived.   We had to call her and she apologized and explained that she had been on hold with the cable company and didn't want to lose her place in the call queue.   While that's all well and good, we wondered why she didn't have someone call on her behalf to let us know she was running late.  Or, if she was on another line, why she couldn't at least send me a text message to let me know she'd be late.    Later, when my sister decided to rent the property, the manager told her she would have to come to the office to sign paperwork - that she couldn't meet at the rental to do it.   When my sister arrived at the office (several hours later in the day, BTW), the manager tried to tell her that she'd made a mistake on the lease price and that it was actually 50% higher rent than what she had said earlier.   My sister did end up leasing the property but came away with a feeling of distrust and dissatisfaction with the transaction.

While I am a homeowner/landlady now, it wasn't so long ago I was a tenant. Here are my best/worst stories:

Worst: I lived in a large apartment complex. They were great about sending a maintenance person out right away when I had a complaint. But horrible about sending someone who would properly fix the problem. For example, during the summer, about once a week my a/c would start blowing hot air because the Freon ran out. Did they ever fix the obvious leak that was happening? Nope. Just kept filling it with more Freon every week.

My second winter, I kept having a problem with the heat going out. It would work for about a week and then go out again. Then it started going out every few days. Again, they refused to acknowledge there was a bigger problem and would just send someone out for whatever stop gap measure he was doing. I actually looked up whatever government agency places standards for living conditions and then threatened to report the complex to them for not providing adequate heating. It was only after I threatened them they actually permanently fixed the problem.

Oh yeah, and all the fire extinguishers in the public hallways were many years expired. I complained about that many times to no avail. Scary.

I moved because I was not going to spend a third summer in that Freon leaking, hot as hell, apartment. It was literally the ONLY reason I moved.

Best: For the last house I rented before I bought mine, I was living there during Hurricane Katrina. I evacuated for three months. My landlady and I kept in touch about what was going on in the city and when I would be returning, etc. Before I came back, she already had the nasty fridge out to the corner and a new fridge in its place. I am forever grateful to her for that!

While I am a homeowner/landlady now, it wasn't so long ago I was a tenant.  Here are my best/worst stories:

Worst:  I lived in a large apartment complex.  They were great about sending a maintenance person out right away when I had a complaint.  But horrible about sending someone who would properly fix the problem.  For example, during the summer, about once a week my a/c would start blowing hot air because the Freon ran out.  Did they ever fix the obvious leak that was happening?  Nope.  Just kept filling it with more Freon every week.

My second winter, I kept having a problem with the heat going out.  It would work for about a week and then go out again.  Then it started going out every few days.  Again, they refused to acknowledge there was a bigger problem and would just send someone out for whatever stop gap measure he was doing.  I actually looked up whatever government agency places standards for living conditions and then threatened to report the complex to them for not providing adequate heating.  It was only after I threatened them they actually permanently fixed the problem.

Oh yeah, and all the fire extinguishers in the public hallways were many years expired.  I complained about that many times to no avail.  Scary.

I moved because I was not going to spend a third summer in that Freon leaking, hot as hell, apartment.  It was literally the ONLY reason I moved.

Best:  For the last house I rented before I bought mine, I was living there during Hurricane Katrina.  I evacuated for three months.  My landlady and I kept in touch about what was going on in the city and when I would be returning, etc.  Before I came back, she already had the nasty fridge out to the corner and a new fridge in its place.  I am forever grateful to her for that! 

@Natalya Murphy

There are many things that I value in a landlord.  Among them are:

Transparency: Being upfront with what's occurring with my property, so that I gain the proper visibility into potential issues.  I'd rather know ahead if a problem may occur so we can plan proactive ways to avoid it.

Responsiveness: Being an out-of-state investor, it's important to me that communications are continuous and that the property manager respond to requests in a timely fashion.

I retired last year from a resident apt mgr job, and moved into low-income senior housing, and I'm now a tenant.  I lived in one of these buildings for a year in Redding (too hot!), then moved here to the coast - ahhhhh, I love it here!

So, I've experienced two managers in the last year and a half.  I hated the one in Redding.  I love the one I have now.

Both of these managers are capable of saying no to people.  One relished saying no, and hated saying yes.  The other will say yes if at all possible.

Both take care of maintenance issues right away.  But, one of these buildings is a miserable place to live, and the one I'm in now is really pleasant.  Managers really set the tone, in my experience.

Just one example of the place I couldn't wait to get out of in Redding.  There was courtyard patio in the center of the building, and tenants could request to have planters assigned to them, so they could plant veggies or flowers, etc.  Sounds nice, right?  Except there were signs up everywhere telling you to do this and don't do that, or you'll get your spot taken away from you!!!  There were signs up all over the lobby and in the elevator, and in the laundry rooms all yelling at you.  

I gave up my spot in the garden, and I wrote an email to the manager's boss and told her why.  I told her there are signs yelling at us all over the place.  And new signs popping up almost daily  - and none of them are saying "Have a nice day!"

Ironically, a couple months after I moved out, I received a survey that the corporate office sent to all of the tenants (mine was forwarded from my old address) asking about our opinions on the management.  I told them I've never lived in a more hostile, unhappy place in my life - and all because of the management, and I escaped as soon as my lease was up.  

People who can't stand people should never become a manager.  What an angry, unhappy power-hungry miserable person she is.  Couldn't wait to get out of there.  The one I have now is a sweetheart.  She's no pushover, but she is just a genuinely nice person, as well as efficient.

Honestly my property manager in texas was awful. It is why I strove to do a better job which is what got me in trouble in the beginning. I found that being a great manager means fixing things not being a push over. 

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