Most states require a property manager to have a real estate broker's license. A property management firm would require association with someone who has a real estate broker's license. Georgia is not one of the exceptions to the rule. There a property manager or operator of a property management firm must hold a broker's license.
Georgia offers four types of real estate licenses: a community association manager's license, a salesperson's license, an associate broker's license and a broker's license. A property management firm must designate an individual licensed as a qualifying broker, responsible for assuring that the firm and its licensees comply with all state regulations pertaining to the conduct of licensed real estate professionals.
Activities Requiring a License
A broker's license is required in Georgia to sell, purchase, appraise or lease real estate on behalf of another for a fee or commission. A licensed sales person may act on behalf of her licensed broker in performance of these duties. A non-licensed person may not. A property owner may act as manager for himself and may employ by salary or wage non-licensed individuals to act under his direction.
You need to meet fix basic qualifications to obtain a broker's license in Georgia. You must be at least 21 years old. You must be a resident of Georgia. You must be a high school graduate or hold a certificate of equivalency. You must have held a real estate license at least three of the five years immediately preceding the filing of an application to become a broker. You must have completed at least 60 instructional hours in real estate course work approved by the real estate commission. And you must pass a broker's exam.
If You Don't Have a License
As a property owner, you will not have broken any rules if you hire a property management firm that is without someone holding a broker's license. On the other hand, if you own a property management firm that does not have a designated qualifying broker, you will be breaking the law. The state real estate commission will first send a cease and desist order. Continued operation after 10 days of that order brings a $1,000-a-ay fine.
Mary Gallagher runs Mary Gallagher Planning (mgaplanning.com), an urban planning and consulting business in San Francisco. She is the former assistant planning director for San Francisco and planning director for San Mateo. Gallagher has been writing about real estate, development and land use for numerous websites since 1995. She holds a master's degree in historic preservation planning from Cornell University.