As a landlord, you may be considering getting a property manager to help you with your South Florida rental property’s day-to-day operations. Property managers can lend a helping hand and reduce the burden of being a landlord. Whether you own a two-bedroom home, townhouse, or condominium unit, it’s always worth your time and money to partner with a property manager in Miami Beach, especially if you can’t deal with the responsibilities by yourself.
But the question is, who should you partner with? Do you have to partner with a licensed professional, or is it OK to work with an unlicensed person who delves into real estate? In this post, we’ll clear up any concerns you have on whether or not property managers need to get a license to manage a rental property in South Florida.
Do Property Managers Need a License in Florida?
Yes, property managers in Florida need a license to perform property management duties, according to the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC). However, it’s worth mentioning that the state of Florida does not require a property management license – instead, it requires a real estate sales associate license.
To get a real estate sales associate license, potential property managers must have completed an approved pre-license course from a state-approved school. Once they’ve completed the course, they can apply for a license. They are then expected to pass a state exam and score at least 75 percent. Under Florida law, aspiring property managers must be at least 18 years of age.
In general, it takes South Florida property managers about 2 years to obtain their license.
Do Property Managers Need a License in the Other States?
Property managers may or may not need to be licensed to perform their responsibilities in other states. Many states require property managers to be licensed (either a property management license or a real estate sales associate license) before they can conduct real estate-related transactions. The reason for this is that states want to ensure that real estate professionals understand the law so that they can protect their clients.
If you own a rental property outside of South Florida, it would be best to do your due diligence (Google is a great tool) or consult a real estate lawyer.
Are There Exemptions to Property Management Licensing?
While it’s not uncommon for states to require property managers to have a license, it’s not always the case. If a landlord employs someone to help run their rental and pays them a salary instead of a commission, that person does not need a license to manage the property. This simply means that the landlord hired a third party to help them with the day-to-day demands of their rental.
What Can Unlicensed Property Managers Do?
Some licensed property managers may enlist the services of unlicensed persons to help them with their operations. However, it’s worth mentioning that unlicensed persons cannot do most of the things that licensed property managers can do. Also, unlicensed persons need to be under the supervision of a licensed property manager at all times, and their pay needs to be salary-based, not commission based.
In other words, you can hire a licensed professional from a property management company, who will hire an unlicensed property manager to help them with routine tasks like printing application forms, taking calls, and completing other clerical tasks.
But as a rule of thumb, there are two things that unlicensed property managers can’t do: collect rent and negotiate lease agreements. Basically, they can’t conduct tasks where they would have to make decisions, such as approving rental applications, interpreting the terms and conditions of contracts, and so on. Only a licensed property manager in Miami Beach will be able to make property management decisions.
For instance, an unlicensed property manager can collect rental applications, however, they can’t decide who to rent to. They can also run calculations to determine the ideal rental rate, but they can’t decide how much it should actually be – that’s for the licensed professionals to do.
Do You Need a License to Self-Manage Your Rental Property?
No, you don’t need to get a license if you’re self-managing a rental that you own. Let’s say you own a three-bedroom rental in Miami Beach and you want to be a hands-on landlord. In this example, there’s no need to complete a pre-licensing course, complete the exam, and secure a license. You can simply run your rental yourself, license-free.
Why Hire a Licensed Property Manager?
There are many reasons to hire a property manager when running your Florida rental property, but you must double-check if they’ve obtained their real estate sales associate license. By doing so, you can ensure that your property is being managed by professionals who are well-versed with the law, and who follow the best practices when it comes to property management in Miami Beach. If you were to partner with an unlicensed person, you would knowingly put your property at risk of being poorly managed.
Remember, licensed property managers go through years of training. They also need to pass a state exam to demonstrate their expertise. Unlicensed property managers have not proven that they are capable of being good property managers, which is why they can only do basic things. Besides, you can’t expect unlicensed property managers to meet your expectations. Would you leave your property in the hands of people who haven’t undergone the proper training?
These are the tasks that licensed real estate professionals can do:
- Negotiate lease agreements
- Decide on the rental rates (they can deviate from the amount the landlord set)
- Approve and disapprove rental applications
- Discuss and settle the terms of the rental contract
- Offer discounts and incentives to tenants and prospective tenants
- Make decisions regarding the general management of the rental property
- …and more
Looking For Licensed Property Managers in Miami Beach?
When you hire property managers at Luxury Property Care, you can rest assured that you will be working with experts who’ve obtained their licenses. Every person on our team has completed the requirements to conduct property management transactions in the state. We also spend time completing post-licensing courses to stay on top of industry trends and practices.