CategoriesProperty Management

A Property Manager Duties Checklist for Beginners

property manager duties checklist

Property managers are often the silent heroes behind a successful tenancy. There are many nightmare news stories about what can go wrong in rental properties, such as a bad tenant or an unscrupulous landlord. 

However, that overlooks the many other examples of happy tenants and landlords. Behind the scenes, making that happen, is the property manager. 

If you aren’t familiar with this role, read on. This guide on a property manager duties checklist will cover all you need to know. 

Tenant Screening

When a tenant has expressed interest in a property, the property manager must ensure that the person is trustworthy.

That’s where tenant screening comes in. It is a fundamental part of a property manager’s duties because it lowers the risk of property damage, unpaid rent, and eviction. 

The primary step in the screening process is the background check. Here, the property manager takes personal details from the tenant. They’ll use that information to check against national and state databases.

It will cover information such as any criminal background, plus a credit score check. 

The screening process also includes manual checks. That will consist of following up on references from previous landlords.

Property managers will also ask for proof of income and tenant employment to ensure they can pay monthly rent. 

Managing and Enforcing the Lease Agreement

Every tenancy comes with a lease. It’s a legal document that outlines the responsibilities of the tenant, landlord, and property manager.

For example, it will have information about the rent owed. It will show when it’s due and how the tenant must pay it. It may also have specific rules, such as whether home modifications are forbidden.

The property manager works with a legal team to ensure the lease agreement is watertight. Their job is to protect the landlord’s investment. The property manager also enforces it.

For example, suppose an inspection uncovers a property modification. In that case, it will be up to the property manager to approach that with the tenant. They might issue a written warning and work with the tenant to ensure they remove it.

However, property managers must also balance rules with fairness to the tenant and act within the law. 

That means understanding specific tenant protections, such as allowing support pets or determining what fines are appropriate for late rent payments. 

Inspections and Maintenance

Every property needs regular inspections. That’s for two reasons. First, it checks to see if there is any property damage.

Second, it checks that things like the HVAC and electrics work as they should and are safe for residents. Those inspections often spot problems early. That can lead to a simple fix before the issue escalates and becomes more expensive.

Property managers will also need to coordinate these inspections. They should schedule them when it’s convenient for the tenant and suitable for any third-party contractor.

They’ll need to balance the urgency of maintenance issues with tenants’ privacy rights.

Property managers will also require knowledge of safety codes for rental properties, such as correctly working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Managers must also be available to handle emergency maintenance issues, ensuring the tenant always has a contact point 24/7. 

Financial Management

Every property will have finances to oversee. That starts with the rent collection.

A property manager must document the rent collected and any outstanding. They’ll need to note any other incoming money, like fees or fines. They’ll also need to manage and oversee expenses.

That could be maintenance work or upgrades on the property. The landlord will require regular reports on the financial status of their investment, and it’s the property manager’s job to provide them.

Those reports also help the landlord understand the overall value of the property and their return on investment.

Financial management also means cost management and keeping expenses down. The property manager must negotiate repair costs. They’ll work hard to ensure the landlord is getting value for money. 


Every property manager must have exceptional communication skills. Communication is central to the job, and the manager will communicate regularly with the landlord, tenant, and third parties.

The landlord depends on the property manager to build relationships via effective communication. They want happy long-term tenants, and a good property manager can help.

Being prompt when responding to questions and concerns is one way of doing that. But often, the softer communication skills, like building rapport with the tenant, can make all the difference. 

They’ll also need to handle different forms of communication. Sometimes, that will take lots of organization, such as liaising via email with contractors and tenants to fix a safety issue in a property.

There will also be times when face-to-face meetings are vital. That could be a first step if there are issues like tenant complaints or non-payment of rent.

When the property manager is adept at communications and relationship building, that often translates to a smoother sailing tenancy for everyone involved.  

Handling Legal Issues

Property managers understand relevant real estate laws, such as zoning, health and safety, and tenant rights. They support the landlord and ensure everything is legally sound.

They’ll also check for legal changes that could impact the landlord. For example, a law change could affect the maximum security deposit allowed on a new tenancy.

They can also coordinate with legal experts and lawyers in specific circumstances, such as an eviction case. All this is a crucial part of property management because it’s the best way for landlords to avoid expensive and stressful legal issues and penalties for non-compliance.

Property Marketing

Once a landlord has bought a property, they’ll leave it to the property manager to secure a tenant. So, a lot of work is involved in listing and marketing the property.

The sooner a property manager finds a tenant, the faster a landlord can begin to see a financial return. So, marketing strategies must be effective.

At the most basic level, marketing will involve taking photographs of the property. The property manager will write a property description and list it online. But there is more than property managers can do to secure a tenant.

They can run ads for that property, promote it on social media, or even arrange an open house event. Some property managers use technology to their advantage in real estate marketing, such as creating virtual property tours. 

Conflict Resolution 

Property management doesn’t always go according to plan. Issues happen. A flood could leave the tenant unhappy and ready to complain, or there could be disputes over the acceptance of pets into a property. 

There are many instances where someone needs to step in. They must handle the situation and get both parties to agree. That’s where the property manager can be vital. 

This person will represent the landlord’s interests. Still, they’ll also ensure fairness towards the tenant and resolve conflicts within the law. 

An effective property manager can often resolve an issue with a few phone calls. However, when problems are lengthy and complex, they’ll oversee the entire process. They should make notes and manage it until a resolution is in sight.

Rent Collection

Rent collection is one of the main administrative tasks of any property management team. They’ll often have a streamlined process, like using an online payment platform, to make it easier to track. 

They may also have to liaise with the tenant about payment methods. That could include handling tenants who want to pay non-conventionally, such as using cash. 

They’ll always have a system for tracking late payments. That includes reminding tenants about money due and issuing fines where appropriate. 

All this information will go into any financial tracking spreadsheets the property manager sends to the landlord. The property manager will also ensure the lease agreement reflects the payment rules. 

So if a payment amount changes, for example, they’ll need to update the lease and get both parties to sign it. 

Vendor Management

Property managers often oversee many properties and likely use the same vendors and contractors across them. 

This has several advantages. It helps them negotiate deals. And it means they have a long-term, trusted relationship with key suppliers, like plumbers, electricians, and landscaping teams.

Property managers must organize and coordinate the work, manage third-party vendors, identify the most urgent repairs, and ensure they are scheduled first. 

They’ll need to check there is no scheduling clash and that important repair tasks aren’t overlooked by a contractor or left unfinished. 

They’ll also oversee the quality of the work, which might involve inspecting a property after a major upgrade or getting feedback from tenants after an urgent repair to ensure everything is back to normal. 

Safety and Security of Properties

Every rental property needs safety and security features. The property manager is there to identify what’s required, check the legal requirements, and get it set up. 

They’ll also maintain the equipment, such as checking that smoke alarms are working or that CCTV cameras are operating correctly. 

A property manager is also there to address residents’ concerns, such as worries about local crime and whether to upgrade the property’s security. 

They’ll also get involved in dealing with the aftermath of an emergency, like a fire or theft, to ensure the property’s safety and security features are up to standard and resolve any other ongoing concerns for the tenant. 

Technical Solutions

Technology has revolutionized parts of the real estate industry, and a property manager can ensure they are capitalizing on any innovations. Take online portals, for example. 

These can streamline many aspects of property management, such as financial oversight, rent payment, and maintenance coordination. 

So, part of a property manager’s job is to evaluate these tools, choose the best one, and implement them for the property management team, landlord, and tenant. 

Property managers can embrace technology in other ways, such as exploring VR and AR technology when marketing a new rental. They’ll always need to explore technology, and they can do that by keeping up to date with the latest technology news in real estate or going to local real estate conferences. 

Sustainable Properties

Tenants are increasingly looking for properties that tick lots of sustainability credentials. 

That might include using renewables, like solar power, or something simple, such as a modern, energy-efficient HVAC system. 

The property manager’s role is to explore ways to make buildings and properties more eco-friendly and to plan and budget these upgrades. 

That will mean speaking to landlords, running a cost-benefit analysis, and scheduling any upgrade work. They’ll also need to respond to requests from tenants. 

For example, suppose tenants complain about a high energy bill due to the property’s old HVAC system. In that case, they might push for an upgrade. 

Property managers should also stay knowledgeable about new sustainability initiatives to ensure the landlord and tenant can benefit. 

Tenant Evictions

Tenant evictions are thankfully rare. But they happen, and a property manager can make this process easier and less stressful for a landlord.

That starts with an in-depth knowledge of tenancy law. Tenant rights vary depending on the state, so the property manager must know the latest regulations for that location. 

Property managers will communicate the eviction notice to tenants. That will mean checking the lease agreement and ensuring the notice abides by the law. 

It will always need to be formal and issued in writing, even if the property manager has an informal chat with the tenant. The property manager must also inform the landlord how an eviction is progressing. 

Evictions often occur because of a failure to pay rent, but they can sometimes happen because of severe property damage.

The property manager must determine whether any damage can be handled as a minor issue or is severe enough to warrant an eviction notice. 

Property Manager Duties Checklist

As you can see from this property manager duties checklist, it’s a broad, demanding, and vital role. A good property manager can make a difference, both financially and by making it easier to communicate with tenants. 

Reedy and Company is one of Memphis’s leading property management teams and experts in Tennessee real estate.

Thousands of landlords choose our trusted and experienced teams to manage their properties. If you want to know about our property management options, head here to discover our services