Property Management Industry Highly Regulated

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), May 19, 2015 | Go to article overview

Property Management Industry Highly Regulated


Byline: Tia Politi For The Register-Guard

The devastating news received by property owners in Eugene and Corvallis regarding a high-profile property management company has highlighted the risks for property owners in our state system of real estate management and licensing. Management clients were stunned to learn that not only did they lose one or two months of distributions, reserves and pre-funded maintenance projects, they also remained liable for their tenants' security deposits.

But the spectacular fall of one large company is the exception, not the rule.

Property management licensing in Oregon is regulated by the Oregon Real Estate Agency. The agency's rules dictate the ethics, requirements and responsibilities of assuming the duties of a property manager. To obtain a license, an individual must complete 60 hours of classroom education with a certified instructor, obtain the instructor's approval to take the state licensing exam, pass the exam, be fingerprinted, pass a criminal background check, and pay the required fees.

A property management license must be renewed every two years, and licensees seeking renewal must prove that they have completed a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education provided by certified instructors in topics related to the field, including a required course on OREA rules and laws. Licensed property managers must prominently display their OREA licenses in their places of business. Except in very limited circumstances, an unlicensed individual may not conduct any professional real estate activity in the state of Oregon.

Acting as a fiduciary, a property manager is charged with maximizing revenue and minimizing expenses and risk. This means charging market-rate rents, screening prospective tenants, responding in a timely fashion to maintenance requests, inspecting properties regularly, dealing with habitability or safety issues, and finding the least expensive solutions to problems within the area of their expertise.

A manager is also required to distribute funds and reports in a timely fashion, enforce the terms of the rental agreement by taking immediate action when there is a breach, reconciling tenant deposits, and issuing tenant reports and refunds in the time allowed by statute. A property manager should have high-level knowledge of the parameters of landlord-tenant law. …

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Property Management Industry Highly Regulated
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