Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, chances are you’ve encountered a property manager.
If you hire an independent contractor or firm (brokerage) to manage your properties, including finding tenants, signing leases, or holding deposit money, that contractor or brokerage must hold a licence with RECA.
Renters, if you’re signing a lease, find out if the person you are dealing with owns the property or is an employee of the property owner. If not, they must hold a licence with RECA.
Property management is:
Owners managing their own property do not need a licence for these activities.
If you hire a handy-person or site operator who does not perform the tasks listed above, but otherwise maintains the property, they do not require a licence.
Information Bulletin: Trading in Real Estate – Property Management
Not all landlords have the time or desire to manage their rental property, whether they have a single unit or a portfolio of dozens. This is where a licensed property manager can help.
What can property managers do?
A licensed property manager can:
Property management professionals can work with landlords and/or tenants in the leasing of real estate. A licence to provide property management services allows an individual to do so for all types of properties: commercial, residential and rural real estate.
There are a number of things you should consider when making the decision whether or not to hire a property manager for a residential or commercial investment property you own.
Managing investment property can take up a significant amount of your time, and it requires specialized knowledge – of rules, industry standards and legislation. Please consider the four questions above and then consider how hiring a property manager could possibly benefit you.
As a property owner, you’ll need to negotiate the specific tasks that a property manager will handle on your behalf and you’ll need to discuss compensation. Just like the specific tasks to be performed, the compensation you’ll pay to a property manager is also negotiable.
Make sure you deal directly with the property owner, or with a licensed property manager. If a person who is not the owner collects your rent, signed your lease, or holds your deposit, make sure they hold a licence by doing a quick search using the Find a Licensee tool. If the property manager you deal with does not hold a licence, contact RECA immediately. Unlicensed practice can result in fines of up to $25,000 per property management activity.
If a person owns the property they are renting out they don’t need a property management licence. Scammers may claim to own the property to explain why they don’t come up in the licence search. Be on the lookout for rental fraud red flags, like:
Download the rental fraud information sheet (pdf) for more information.
The fraud sales pitch often tries to discourage critical thinking. Ask questions. Ask them questions about the property and the process. Ask yourself questions about the process and how it makes you feel.
Review the lease, contracts, or other agreements carefully. Don’t let the landlord or property manager pressure you into signing anything before you’ve read it and are confident you understand it. If you’re signing it, you’re agreeing to it. Be confident you know what you’re agreeing to.
The potential cost of a bad contract far out-weighs the cost of a good legal advice.
Condominium management and property management are related but are not the same thing. Condominium managers work for a condominium board to manage the duties and activities of the board, such as arranging property landscaping and cleaning. Property managers work with property owners to rent real estate.
If a condominium manager collects the money payable to the condominium corporation, deposits it directly into the condominium corporation’s account, and they are not carrying out any other activities that fall under the definition of trading in real estate (such as property management), they do not require a licence.
If a condominium manager deposits the money payable to the condominium corporation into the management company’s account for any period of time, no matter how short, they do require a property management licence.