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Do You Need to be Licensed for Property Management in Virginia or DC?

Eric Guggenheimer - Thursday, December 7, 2017
A common question we get asked by people looking for a property management company in Northern Virginia or DC is, do property managers in Virginia or the District Of Columbia need to be licensed? And if so, how can I confirm whether a property management company is in fact licensed?

The state of Virginia changed a very specific law in 2016 which requires an agent for an owner who collects rents to have an escrow account. This law came about due to the fact that regulatory agencies were having too many complaints from consumers relating to property management. In Virginia, Attorneys and Real Estate Brokers can manage escrow accounts which effectively requires Property Managers to be licensed.

Professional property management companies require many skills including; accounting, asset management, competencies in landlord tenant law, and skilled personnel, facilities and software to effectively manage large sums of money. A licensed property manager will be insured with Errors and Omissions insurance as well as liability insurance extending beyond the company's office. The are other crucial infrastructure requirements like network security, handling of customer social security numbers and private client information. It simply is not practical anymore to be an unlicensed sole property management practitioner.

The District Of Columbia has a similar regulatory body who oversees Real Estate Brokers and Property Managers. Unlike Virginia, DC has Licensing for Property Managers which meet stringent regulations. The District, like Virginia, requires continuing education for Realtors, Brokers and Property Managers, so in Virginia and the District of Columbia a licensed Property Manager will not only need to be proficient at management, they will need to maintain their educational requirements.

Circle Property Management, exceeds all of the minimum requirements in both Virginia and DC as well as being a Principal Broker who has the ARM® designation from IREM, a Global Property Management Association. The ARM® designation requires years of training and proof of portfolio management.

It's easy to find out if a property management company is licensed in Virginia and Washington DC by searching on the following web sites.

Virginia: http://www.dpor.virginia.gov/LicenseLookup/

Washington DC: https://www.dcopla.com/realestate/