An agent in my office wants to begin a full-service property-management practice. Can she have her own trust account to collect and disburse security deposits, rents, and other funds?

No. TREC rules make it clear that salespeople cannot have their own trust account. A broker may only authorize another license holder to withdraw or transfer funds from a trust account, but the broker herself remains responsible for all deposits to and disbursements from the broker’s trust account. Remember, a broker is responsible for all authorized acts of sponsored salespeople. You and your agent should review TREC Rule Section 535.146 before she begins her practice.

A friend of mine gets paid to manage other friends' properties. He says he doesn't need to have a real estate license to do this. Is this true?

It depends on what services your friend is providing in his property management. Under the Real Estate License Act, a license is required when a person handles the leasing of someone else’s property. Additionally, someone who controls the acceptance or deposit of rent for a single-family residential property on behalf of another person must be licensed.

A person controls the acceptance or deposit of rent 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.