I have had a rental property since 2008. I have been very fortunate with my tenants. They have taken very good care of my rental property and I have not needed a property manager. The nice thing about rental properties is that you make the original purchase and someone else pays you and the mortgage for the right to live there.
You can include in the rental agreement that the tenant must maintain the property including lawn maintainance, appliances, painting, etc.
Another option is doing a lease purchase property. You get a large downpayment as Option money, plus you get rent. This motivates tenants to take care of the property because they are looking to purchase it. If they fail to purchase the property in the time frame you contract then the option money is yours, if they purchase the property then the option money can become a downpayment for the purchase. It gives the tenant a chance to purchase the property from you, You get better quality tenants, and you help a tenant that usually is working on getting their credit back in shape. You can get longer contracts like 3 year leases as well.
I just sold my rental this way and the tenant/buyers are thrilled. I got a fair price for my property (higher than current sales) and the tenant/buyer is getting a great home. If you decide to do a lease option sell please be fair to the buyer and put yourself in their shoes. The more fair you are, the better tenant you will get.