Multifamily Property Management in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. is a booming market for real estate investors looking to purchase multifamily properties. However, specific laws apply to multifamily property management in the nation’s capital, and failure to comply with those regulations could be costly.
When it comes to property management, don’t take chances. Designated Broker Solutions’ licensed brokers know how to help you navigate new investments, making sure you comply with all federal and local regulations for your multifamily property. We’ll help you start your business quickly, handling necessary paperwork and making sure you’re complying with all District laws.
Property Management Regulations in Washington, D.C.
According to Washington, D.C. real estate law, property management consists of anything to do with leasing, renting, managing, or marketing real estate in the District of Columbia. Real estate activities such as buying, selling, or negotiating the transfer of property do not fall under property management.
The District of Columbia’s property management laws differ from those of the surrounding states. Property managers in D.C. are not required to hold a real estate brokers license. However, they are required to hold a valid property manager license issued by the District of Columbia Real Estate Commission. To obtain a property manager’s license, applicants must take courses required by the Real Estate Commission, study for and pass a rigorous exam, and pay the licensing fee.
Licensed real estate brokers may act as property managers in D.C. without taking any additional training or exams. That’s why many property owners and investors choose to hire a licensed broker like those at Designated Broker Solutions to oversee property management. Using a broker eliminates the need for a lengthy licensing process.
Property managers (and brokers acting as property managers) must also obtain a Residential Housing Rental License from the D.C. Department of Regulatory Affairs. Licenses are required for all rentals, including apartments, condos, and single-family homes. To provide affordable housing for all residents, D.C. is a rent-controlled city. Therefore, property managers must register their units as rent-controlled or control exempt. However, if you’re seeking an exemption from rent-controlled status, be prepared to face a challenging process.
Unique District of Columbia Property Management Regulations
We’ve already mentioned that, unlike other municipalities in the U.S., the District of Columbia does not require a property manager to have a real estate broker license. But there are other considerations specific to property management in D.C.
For instance, D.C. has strict Fair Housing regulations that protect renters from discrimination based on race or national origin, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or source of income. Property managers are also required to make specific disclosures to the tenants as described by law and to comply with all environmental and air quality standards.
There are other regulations you’ll need to follow, including protections for the elderly and handicapped, restrictions on when a landlord can and cannot enter a unit without the tenant’s permission, controls on rent increases in any given year, and eviction rules that favor tenants, among others.
Noncompliance is Costly
To stay compliant with all District laws, both investors and property managers must be familiar with housing regulations.
Tenant rights are well-protected in the nation’s capital, making compliance even more crucial for property managers. Failure to follow all District laws could result in lawsuits, complaints to the Better Business Bureau and the D.C. Real Estate Commission, and even loss of licensing. Both the owner and property manager could face fines, reparations, and other legal recourse.
How Designated Broker Solutions Can Help
We know you want to protect your real estate investment. For investors outside of D.C., setting up property management in the capital with a third-party company can be costly and time-consuming. Those in the District of Columbia still might not have an employee who meets the real estate commission requirements for property managers. While you wait for your employee to receive the proper training, you’re losing valuable time and revenue.
At Designated Broker Solutions, we will get your property management company licensed and in compliance.. Our brokers are already licensed in 27 states and the District of Columbia, so whether you’re operating solely in D.C. or expanding to another location, our professional brokers can help keep all your properties in compliance. We work closely with your entire property management team to keep them up to date on changing regulations. We perform internal audits to ensure continuing compliance. Most importantly, as an owner/operator, you can keep those property management fees in your pocket.
Contact us to learn how we can help protect your real estate investments.