Legal FAQs for REALTORS®
Can an unlicensed person be a property manager? (updated March 3, 2013)
It depends. A license is required for anyone who controls the acceptance or deposit of rent from a resident of a single-family property if the person has the authority to do any of the following:
-Use the rent to pay for services related to management of the property
-Determine where to deposit the rent
-Sign checks or withdraw money from a trust account.
In addition, only a licensed broker or salesperson may perform leasing activities, such as finding tenants, showing properties for lease, and negotiating leases. However, there are certain activities that do not require a license, including bookkeeping or arranging for repairs.
What tasks can my unlicensed office manager do? (updated April 29, 2014)
Unlicensed individuals can train or motivate agents, as well as handle office administration and personnel matters. Texas Real Estate Commission Rule 535.2 (c) notes that who a broker designates to sign checks is not regulated by the commission, so an unlicensed person can also serve as bookkeeper for the company.
However, TREC Rule 535.4(d) prohibits an unlicensed person from directing or supervising agents in their work as licensees. This means an unlicensed person cannot advise agents about helping others buy, sell, or lease property. Unlicensed office assistants cannot review contracts or be a party in dealmaking. These tasks may only be performed by licensees.
The Texas Real Estate Licensing Act Section 1101.002(1)(A)(x) prohibits an unlicensed person, on behalf of another, from controlling the acceptance or deposit of rent from a resident of a single-family residential real property unit in exchange for, or with the expectation of, a commission or other valuable consideration. TREC Rule 535.4(g) further defines controlling the acceptance or deposit of rent, stating that a person must be licensed if:
1. The person has the authority to use the rent to pay for services related to management of the property; or
2. The person has the authority to deposit the rent into a trust or bank account and sign checks or withdraw money from the account.
Legal Disclaimer: The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.
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