• By Mahlon Fast, J.S.C., Ret., EPGP

Obligations of Property Managers Are You Violating the Law?

An employee must be licensed if they list a unit for sale or lease (this would include preparing or placing advertisements – offering or attempting to offer real estate or an interest therein or soliciting/assisting or directing in the procuring of prospects) negotiating or signing a lease, collecting or attempting to collect rent, and negotiating a loan secured or to be secured by mortgage or other encumbrance upon or transfer of any real estate for others. Some employees need not be licensed, including secretaries, bookkeepers, construction or maintenance personnel, or independent contractors who service the utilities, but do not have contact with tenants or prospective tenants. Titles are sometimes misleading and cannot be relied upon; it is the actual function that makes the difference. For example, a “superintendent” who makes repairs and manages utilities would not be considered involved in a real estate transaction, but if that “superintendent” negotiated leases or collects rent, then that person would be considered as engaging in a real estate transaction, and would have to be licensed by the appropriate State Agency. According to New Jersey statute (N.J.S.A. 45:15-1) no person shall engage either directly or indirectly in the business of a real estate broker, broker-salesperson, salesperson or referral agent, temporarily or otherwise, and no person shall advertise or represent himself as being authorized to act as a real estate broker, broker-salesperson, salesperson or referral agent, or to engage in any of the activities described in R.S.45:15-3, without being licensed so to do as hereinafter provided.



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