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Requirements for California property managers

Property manager in California

If you are on the hunt for prime property in these United States, there is one state that constantly figures in lists of top locations for much-coveted real estate – California. The market here is red-hot as there are highly-valued properties, a low inventory, and buyers vigorously negotiating for a chance at owning a parcel or two of California land.

With this scenario comes the rise of property managers, the primary task of which is to oversee and look after the well-being of properties under their wing. These experts should possess proper licenses but more than that qualification, the Golden State has other rules for them to abide by.

  • Licenses. As stated earlier, a property manager needs to have the most recent broker’s license. This can be issued either to an individual or to an organization as in the case of a corporate broker’s license covering a corporate property management company. This requirement even covers persons or agencies engaged in soliciting listings of rental properties, as well as those collecting rentals.

In cases where a licensed broker conducts business in multiple locations, they should secure a license for each additional location.

  • Age requirement.Real estate broker’s licenses can be issued to legal residents of the United States who are 18 years of age and above. They should also meet qualifications set by the California Real Estate Commission. Same as with licensing requirements in other professions, applicants must have the required education under their belts. 
  • Education. While not a baccalaureate program in real estate, these formal real-estate academic programs include several state-certified collegiate courses covering finance, real estate and appraisal issues offered by higher education institutions and approved by the California Real Estate Commission.
  • Years of experience. Applicants for a California broker’s license also need to have at least two years’ experience working in the real estate industry under a licensed broker within the last five years before filing the application.
  • Exam passer.The applicant needs to demonstrate English communication proficiency, a mathematical ability that is appropriate to use in the industry, a sufficient understanding of the real estate business including the processes involved, and the State’s real estate laws. If you pass this requirement, you aced the California Broker of Real Estate Exam.
  • Continuing education. After receiving a license, the broker is encouraged to pursue continuing education in the real estate industry. That way, they can keep abreast of ongoing developments and state policies. This requirement is similar to how medical professionals need to rack up medical education units to renew their licenses.

Other property manager concerns

Apart from the requirements of the job, a property manager in California is also subject to several state laws. They must be familiar with and observant of policies involving taxation, insurance, financing, and even issues like sexual harassment, work safety, environment, building codes, and national security.

California laws also require property managers to ensure a safe and habitable living space for rental tenants. Failure to comply makes them liable for damages. They may also become subject to forfeited rent and legal entanglements in the event that they need to evict a tenant due to failure to pay rent.

Rent control and deposits

Property managers are also subject to state and county policies on rent control. These policies include regulations on collected security deposits prior to leasing properties. Such deposits cannot exceed the equivalent amount of two months’ rent.

Once a tenant makes known their desire to leave a rental property, the deposit is to be refunded but with corresponding deductions to cover damage, unsettled bills, and other liabilities. 

To know the exact amount of the refund, a property manager should be able to conduct a thorough inspection of the rented property prior to, during, and upon the termination of the lease. Refund of the balance of the security deposit must be done within 21 days from termination of the lease. The tenant can contest the refunded amount for up to four years.

Brokers involved in California property management should also be mindful of various issues pertaining to zoning, energy usage, installation of facilities like electric vehicle charging stations, illegal marijuana cultivation, and third-party payments. Sensitive issues like domestic violence can also be considered as grounds for voiding a lease agreement.  

Property managers should also be aware of the schedules of fines and penalties imposed for Building and Safety Code infractions. While these penalties increase with succeeding violations, the law also allows individual cities and counties to grant hardship waivers to repeat offenders who genuinely suffer the financial burden of being unable to pay the additional charges.

Need a good property management company in California? The R&Z Group of Marcus & Millichap would be happy to assist you. You can reach our professionals here. You can also reach us at 650.391.1758 and 650.391.1781.

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