An apartment manager ensures that rental properties and individual units are compliant with local and state building codes as well as standards dictated by landlord-tenant laws and tenant leases. Some apartment managers, particularly those who live on-site, might perform basic maintenance duties themselves. Others hire and supervise maintenance staff to carry out cleaning, landscaping and repair jobs. The apartment manager will also set up utility services, arrange for trash pickup, coordinate street parking permits and manage the upkeep of amenities such as swimming pools and laundry rooms.
Landlords rely on property managers to recruit new tenants and respond to the needs and concerns of current tenants. Some property managers subcontract the work of finding tenants to leasing agencies, while others take on this role themselves. Property managers who recruit tenants market their properties, often by advertising online or in newspapers. They show rental units to prospective tenants and screen them to make sure applicants are financially stable and have a track record of being responsible renters. An apartment manager also responds to tenant complaints and requests and will usually coordinate tenant move-in and departure. This includes returning deposits to tenants who have left their apartments in good condition. Finally, the apartment manager takes the lead in dealing with troublesome tenants, such as those who make a lot of noise or damage the property. Managers handle these situations on a case-by-case basis, often issuing verbal or written warnings, fines or eviction notices.
Property managers collect rent payments from tenants and record them in financial records. In situations where a tenant hasn’t paid rent, the property manager begins the collection process in accordance with state and local ordinances. This might include personal requests for the rent, serving tenants with a “pay or quit” notice that asks the tenant to either pay rent or vacate the apartment and, if necessary, initiating eviction proceedings through the court system.
An apartment manager often assumes responsibility for keeping the costs of maintaining the property within a landlord’s budget and overseeing day-to-day accounting matters. He might be in charge of utility, tax and mortgage payments, as well as wages paid to contractors and employees. Because the property manager is familiar with the actual costs of maintaining the apartment, he might advise the landlord on setting rents and other tenant fees.
Salary and Job Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics groups apartment managers under the broad job category of “Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers.” These workers earned a median annual wage of $51,480 in May of 2010. Job growth for this profession is predicted to be slow, with only a 6 percent increase in jobs anticipated between 2010 and 2020. That compares to a projected growth rate of 14 percent for all occupations