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Many states require you to have a real estate broker’s license if you are a property manager. Washington D.C., is different because it does not require property managers to have a real estate broker’s license under certain circumstances. A real estate broker is trained in managing real estate agents and buying and selling property. However, not all property managers buy and sell real estate.
What Is a Property Manager?
Under the District of Columbia’s laws, a property manager is someone who handles real estate transactions for property owners. Those management duties vary from relationship to relationship. For example, one property manager might find tenants, lease out the owner’s homes, collect rent and evict tenants.
In another relationship, the agent might have permission to buy and sell real estate and negotiate loans in addition to finding tenants, evicting tenants, collecting rent and other duties related to leasing property.
When a Property Manager Needs a Broker’s License
If a property manager does not buy and sell real estate and does not negotiate loans on properties, then the property manager does not need the license. However, many property managers not only manage properties, but they buy and sell properties for their clients.
When a property manager buys and sells properties and/or negotiates loans for their clients, the broker must have a real estate broker’s license.
DC Property Manager’s License
If a District of Columbia property manager does not have a real estate broker’s license, they must take and pass the DC property manager’s exam and get the property manager’s license. However, if the property manager already has a real estate broker’s license, the property manager does not need to take the property manager’s exam, nor do they need to obtain that license.
If you are not getting a real estate broker’s license, in addition to the property manager’s license, you need to meet other requirements:
You must be fluent in English, including reading, writing and understanding the language;
You must have graduated from high school or have a high school equivalency certificate;
You cannot have any property manager license application denials, other than that you did not pass the exam, in the District of Columbia or anywhere in the country for the year prior to your new application;
Your license cannot be suspended on the date you file the application; and
You cannot have a property manager’s license revocation in the past three years.
If you have a real estate broker’s license, it is assumed that you have passed all of these requirements and do not need to show proof of them again.
Condo Association and Community Association Managers
Managers of condominium and community associations do not have to obtain a real estate broker’s license. They are regulated by the Real Estate Board of the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs as commercial property managers and must follow the rules and regulations of the board.
If you are starting a property manager's business, always check to see what other licenses and certificates the District of Columbia requires, including occupancy certificates and tax certificates.