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How to Manage an Apartment Complex

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Managing an apartment complex is about taking care of not just the building but the tenants and owner, as well. The manager of the complex is responsible for ensuring that apartments are filled and repairs are done while also maintaining the profitability of the owner's investment. Apartment complex managers often find themselves performing multiple duties throughout the week. Property managers work for either a property management company or directly for the owner.

Management Responsibilities

Inspect the building and grounds routinely to ensure the property is safe and well maintained. Be certain that maintenance is performed regularly and safety issues are addressed immediately. An example of a safety issue requiring attention would be a broken light bulb in the darkened parking lot that needs replacement.

Inspect vacant apartments prior to showing them. Make any necessary repairs or improvements, such as painting or caulking, in order to make the apartment more enticing to prospective tenants. Be certain that all apartments and the building are in accordance with local building codes as well as state and federal regulations.

Advertise immediately when a tenant moves out. A vacant apartment means lost revenue, and it is the responsibility of the apartment complex manager to maintain the building's income. Be sure to advertise within all federal and state guidelines to ensure that ads are not discriminatory or in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

Check credit and references of all prospective tenants. It is important to try to get responsible tenants who will not skip out on the rent and cause loss of revenue.

Enforce all the terms of the tenant rental agreement. For example, if the lease or agreement contains a ‘no pets’ clause, it is your responsibility to insist that pets are not living in the complex. The exception to this is applied with service animals for people with disabilities. Under the Fair Housing Act, certain accommodations must be made for people with disabilities.

Resolve tenant complaints immediately. This might require meeting with one or more occupants of the building and mediating arguments between neighbors.

Collect monthly rent, make bank deposits and pay service providers according to the terms of the management agreement. Some owners prefer to handle the financial aspects of the apartment complex themselves, while others ask the manager to perform those duties.

Make necessary repairs to apartments as needed. Occasionally the manager must allow a service provider into an apartment, such as a plumber. Arrangements to enter the apartment should be made with the tenant prior to the service.

Enforce eviction or lease terminations in accordance with all laws and company policy. Be sure to keep records of all correspondence related to these procedures.

Negotiate contracts with service providers such as landscapers, electricians or snow removal companies.

Purchase necessary supplies and equipment, such as paint or appliances. Maintain careful records of all financial transactions, including purchases, rent collection, bank deposits, service bills and payments to service providers.


Training in federal, state and local laws is an important part of managing an apartment complex. Costly mistakes can be made without knowledge of these laws.

  • Training in federal, state and local laws is an important part of managing an apartment complex. Costly mistakes can be made without knowledge of these laws.

Narielle Living is a professional writer of both fiction and nonfiction works. Her short stories have appeared in the "York County Public Library Juried Literary Competition" compilations. Living received a degree in therapeutic massage from the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy and attended Albertus Magnus College for two years to pursue a degree in philosophy and religion.

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