Skip to main content

Chicago Property Management Blog

The Pros and Cons of Being a House Self-Manager in Chicago

In Chicago's hot rental market, more landlords are opting to self-manage their rental properties instead of hiring a professional property management company. Self-managing a rental home or apartment building in Chicago can save money but also requires a major time commitment. As a house self-manager, you need to handle all aspects of the rental process, from marketing and tenant screening to maintenance, repairs, and lease enforcement.

Pros of being a house self-manager:

  • Save on management fees. By self-managing, you avoid paying the typical 10% of rent charged by most Chicago property managers. This can mean thousands of dollars in savings per year for larger buildings.
  • Maintain control. You have direct control over all parts of the rental process, including setting rent amounts, choosing tenants, and overseeing repairs. You don't have to rely on a third party to manage the property.
  • Build equity. Any money you save on management fees and through effective cost control goes directly into your pocket, helping you build equity in the investment property.

Cons of being a house self-manager:  

  • Significant time commitment. Self-managing requires handling all tenant issues, maintenance requests, repairs, rent collection, and lease enforcement yourself. This can take 20-30 hours a week for larger buildings.
  • Learning curve. If you're new to being a landlord, the responsibilities of self-managing a rental property can be challenging to learn. It may take time to get up to speed on Chicago landlord-tenant laws and best practices.
  • Tenant conflicts. Dealing directly with tenant complaints, non-payments, move-outs, and evictions can be difficult and stressful. Professional property managers are better equipped to handle these situations objectively.  
  • Emergency response. As a self-manager, you alone are responsible for addressing emergency maintenance issues like plumbing leaks or HVAC problems. This requires being on call 24/7 to respond to urgent tenant needs.  

For many Chicago landlords, self-managing a rental property is a good way to maximize financial returns. But before taking it on yourself, make sure you understand all that is involved in being a self-manager and are prepared to commit the necessary time to do it right. With the proper systems and knowledge in place, self-managing can be very rewarding. But for some, hiring a professional property manager is still the better option. Contact us today and get your free consultation.

Unlock the Secrets to Successful Renovations and Maintenance! Click here to get your FREE copy of the ebook '15 TIPS CHICAGO LANDLORDS MUST KNOW' and master the essential guidelines for self-managing landlords. 

Need A Responsive Property Manager?