Ok folks, I guess a lot of you are renting. Who is managing the rental? I have come across the four entities..
1) The owner
2) The owner's uncle Al
3) A Real estate Agent managing a few properties on the side.
4) A property management company or Real Estate Agent who does full-time rentals.
My advice, from having come across all four- Try and get hooked up with a property that is managed by the last one.
The owner, uncle Al and some real estate agents who dabble in renting- often do not seems to even know a Residential Tenancy Act exists! Uncle Al drank my deposit as soon as he got it, considering it as extra commission, and it was like pulling teeth to get it back, and of course he had no idea that he was supposed to return it WITH interest.
I found owners to be penny-pinching as they are often very tight on covering the expenses with rent and even the smallest repair is a fiscal disaster. The on-the-side Real estate agent are too busy, often don't return calls on time, don't have good contacts and have not been a good experience.
While the property management company and full-time renting agents are working for the landlord and not you (never forget that) they have a reputation to protect, they know the laws (generally) and they have contacts to get repairs done quickly. If you can chose between any of the above four, pick the last one.