Would You Rather?

All hail the mom-and-pop landlord: New Yorkers are over large management companies

Share this Article

All renters know how it goes: Something breaks, you call your landlord and hope for the best. Sometimes, you see the repairman that very day. Other times, you wait and wait to get a call back. The worst is trying to make an appointment when you have to be at work.

A lot of these problems stem from poor management. How your building is managed—whether by an individual or a management company—determines in large part if your life as a renter is going to be easy or hard.

So we asked New Yorkers, would you rather rent from a management company or from an individual?

Need a human connection I’m going to say individual. It’s just more personal. Your home is a sensitive thing. —Joshua, Bed-Stuy (pictured below)

Individuals are more invested My rental experiences with an individual owner has always been the best. These have usually been small buildings, and the owner takes personal pride in the space. —Dana, Bushwick

Best to avoid the “completely impersonal” Individual. The years I rented from a notorious NYC management company were the worst. It was completely impersonal and they ended up stealing my security deposit. I've known my past two landlords and their families personally and it makes for a much more pleasant rental experience. My current landlord is super nice and actually cares about the properties he owns, unlike a management company just in it for the money. —Melissa, Astoria

Individuals are reasonable I've always rented from individuals and it's always been, from anecdotal evidence, easier to deal with than a company. Individuals can be reasoned with if you need something done or you're a day or two late with the check. It just seems more personal. —Nell, Williamsburg

Depends on if they’re ‘cool’ Individual. Like say the cool owners live in the upstairs apartment. But if it's someone who owns properties all over and is never around, maybe a management company is better? —Jeff, Marine Park

Neither. Buy! You don't want to rent from anyone or anything ever in NYC if you can possibly avoid doing so, but if you do, try to do so from a nice individual. Or, save your money and buy! —Anne, Hell’s Kitchen
Management companies are never good Individual. Are there even any good management companies? —Elissa, East Village

Verdict: Individual by a landslide