By: Nicholas Meyer, Downtown Suites Ltd.
Licensed property managers in BC offer the best assurance to real estate investors who are renting their properties.
Property Management is a specific professional designation, controlled under the Real Estate Services Act of BC, and monitored by the Real Estate Council of BC and the Real Estate Board of Vancouver.
Even if a person has a real estate license, in BC legislation doesn’t permit real estate salespeople to manage people’s property. Property Managers are designated as true professionals, under strict guidelines.
Aside from the many areas of expertise required of a true property manager, one key reason for the specific designation has to do with the management of the funds which are rightfully the landlord’s. It all comes down to handling other people’s funds.
It is against the rules, as laid out by the governing bodies, for someone who is not a licensed Property Manager to take money for the service of managing rentals. This gives greater integrity to the system, as people need to have confidence in the system. Property managers are audited and supervised, and the landlords know that their money is safe, accounted for and they will get it when the rent is collected.
As a Managing Broker at Downtown Suites (Vancouver Property Managers), I have a license for both real estate sales and property management. All clients’ funds are held in trust accounts, and we differentiate between accounts for sales and property management. Each is operated separately, and independently audited, ensuring financial integrity.
Normally, realtors don’t want to begin to deal with this complexity, which is best left to Property Managers. Should a buyer acquire property for rental revenue, their realtor is not licensed to manage it, and the buyer should find a responsible Property Management company to handle this for them.
Some real estate agents do also have property management licenses. But some more unscrupulous realtors act unlicensed, as independent managers, and when they deduct commission they then put it in their own accounts. Landlords should be aware that this may not be handled through the account of the realtor’s affiliated real estate companies, and should watch to ensure that the transactions are all above board.