Property management is the operation, control, maintenance, and oversight of real estate and physical property. This can include residential, commercial, and land real estate. Management indicates the need of real estate to be cared for and monitored, with accountability for and attention to its useful life and condition considered. This is much akin to the role of management in any business.
Property management is also the management of personal property, equipment, tooling, and physical capital assets that are acquired and used to build, repair, and maintain end item deliverables. Property management involves the processes, systems, and manpower required to manage the life cycle of all acquired property as defined above including acquisition, control, accountability, responsibility, maintenance, utilization, and disposition.
An owner of a single-family home, condominium, or multi-family building may engage the services of a professional property management company. The company will then advertise the rental property, handle tenant inquiries, screen applicants, select suitable candidates, draw up a lease agreement, conduct a move in inspection, move the tenant(s) into the property and collect rental income. The company will then coordinate any maintenance issues, supply the owner(s) with financial statements and any relevant information regarding the property, etc.
There are many facets to this profession, including managing the accounts and finances of the real estate properties, and participating in or initiating litigation with tenants, contractors and insurance agencies. Litigation is at times considered a separate function, set aside for trained attorneys. Although a person will be responsible for this in his/her job description, there may be an attorney working under a property manager. Special attention is given to landlord/tenant law and most commonly evictions, non-payment, harassment, reduction of pre-arranged services, and public nuisance are legal subjects that gain the most amount of attention from property managers. Therefore, it is a necessity that a property manager be current with applicable municipal, county, state and Federal Fair Housing laws and practices.