If you are not in a position to buy or do not care to buy your home, you will need to rent it. This gives you the option of renting a home directly from the person who owns it or of going to a property management company. Before you dismiss using one option over the other, be sure you understand what each can do for you.
Many times, when you rent from the owner, it will save you money. This is because there is no middleman that needs to be paid. The owner has an amount he or she needs to receive monthly from the property, but if there is a property manager, there will be additional fees. In addition, any time there is a problem, whether you need extra time to pay the rent, or there is a broken appliance in the house, you won't have to go through the manager and wait for him or her to contact the owner to get the issue resolved. In addition, an owner may not perform a deep background or credit check before allowing you into the place. This is best if you have had a few financial issues in the past.
Property Manager Benefits
Sometimes, an owner has a sentimental attachment to the property. He or she may want it kept a very specific way and become upset if you do anything differently. This could be something as simple as planting some flower in the yard or not using the garage for your call all the time. A property manager can intercede between you and the manager and keep things from becoming nasty when the owner is being irrational. Be sure to ask the manager how repairs are handled. Often they have been given permission from the owner to do what is necessary up to a certain amount. Regardless of this, a management company usually has a team of people ready to do simple repairs and know which contractor to contact if it is beyond their team's capabilities. This usually means the repairs get done quicker because they do not have to wait around for a few estimates and then decide which to choose.
Do not be afraid to choose either type of landlord. Meet with them and get a feeling of how it would be to rent from them. The important part is that you have a home you are comfortable with, a rent you can afford, and in a location in which you feel safe.