April 10, 2018
Property Management Law: Examples & Explanations
Becoming a property manager isn’t as easy as putting a sign on your door. Property management professionals who administer and oversee multi-family apartment buildings, commercial buildings, homeowner and condo boards and associations, and other rental units are all bound by the rules and regulations that comprise property management laws.
Property Law Examples
Throughout most of the United States, there are rules relating to licensing. If a property management firm is collecting rent and listing properties, they are obliged to be property licensed real estate brokers in most states. And, in most states, property managers must also be licensed, either as a real estate broker, or by taking a property or business management course and passing an exam.
Property managers have a fiduciary duty to the building or landlord they represent. A fiduciary duty is a legal duty to act solely in another party’s interests. This means they are held to a higher standard than someone performing transactional (one-time) activities. Fiduciary duties to clients include full accountability, no conflict of interests, confidentiality, loyalty and disclosure.
Property Management Associations
Across the US there are a wide variety of property management associations. These organizations tend to focus on continuing education, and the sharing of information related to the latest trends and new regulations. While these associations have their own code of ethics, rules and regulations, they are not technically a governing body. However, professional organizations have been known to lobby for changes to local, state and federal laws.
Property Management Laws
Typically, most property law is linked to city, state or federal laws. Property firms and their managers are expected to understand and follow these rules and regulations. Quite often these laws relate to, but are not limited to:
- The rights of tenants
- The rights of landlords
- Rent increases
- Illegal housing discrimination
- Fees and deposits
- Left-behind belongings
- And many others…
As well, some property management laws relate to how the building is operated, and these can vary from city to city, or state to state. For example, in California, there must be an on-site, live-in resident manager if an apartment building exceeds a certain size (16 or more units in California.)
In short, property law is varied. Most times it is determined at the local, state and federal levels, and it is a property management company’s obligation to keep on top of any changes that may affect their tenants or properties.
How Property Vista Helps
Property Vista offers web-based software designed to help landlords run their properties more efficiently and more effectively – and legally. We offer online resident applications and intelligent credit checks, communication and maintenance portals, as well as tenant insurance. Learn more about our suite of property management software!