Property Owner: Active vs. Passive

Posted by   James Meyer   |   Categories :   Property Management, Rental & Investment

The core of property management is people. If you own and manage your property, you’re working with potential tenants, tenants, real estate agents, and contractors. If you manage someone else property, you are dealing the property owner in addition to the others.

People and properties come with a wide range of characteristics and demands that make them unique. Often the expectations are left unspoken which leaves you in a position to figure out what that didn’t actually say.

Tenant Screening and Selection

Carefully selecting a tenant is the most important decision you’ll face when managing a property. The job is much easier in the long run by putting in the effort to qualify tenants.
With an active property owner, the process begins before applications start coming in. They  will want know where you are advertising and what response you are getting. After enough applications have arrived, it’s important to involve them with selection and review the pros and cons of each applicant. An active property owner may make the final decision.
The passive property owner will have one concern — finding a reliable tenant for the vacancy. The property manage will do their due diligence. Having predefined selection criteria is essential. See the criteria Captiva Management uses to select quality tenants.

Maintenance and Repairs

For tenants, rapid response to maintenance issues keep them happy. With both the active and passive owners, they may have “a guy” who can handle the repair, depending on the technical requirements, this may be a bad idea. All repairs should be done by someone who is licensed and insured.
Present active owners with a detailed explanation of the problem and available options for resolving the issue. Make sure to include any technical details, time estimates and quotes. An active owner may want to make the final decision.

Passive owners may have a pre-authorized expense amount which you are able to spend on repairs. If you exceed that amount, make sure you give your owner a heads-up and how you would like to handle the situation and the final decision will likely be up to you, the property manager.


There is no right or wrong level of involvement from a property . Active property owners will want to be involved with most aspects of their business and make decisions. Passive property owners will want little to do with the process and property and ultimately let the property manager make decisions on their behalf. In all likelihood, property owners will be a hybrid and the amount of involvement will depend on the situation.


September 15, 2014

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