Looking to jump into buying an apartment building

4 Replies

I am in Michigan, am I required to hold a RE License in order to manage and lease the building?

I am doing research, and to be a Property Manager it appears so (to manage other people RE properties).

But to do my own it appears ambiguous. Anyone have any ideas?

I'd call some local property management companies and straight up just ask them if one is required. They will know right away. 

Hi @Christian Hutchinson ,

Michigan law allows you to self-manage your own properties, even leasing and renting. Taken straight from the State of Michigan’s website, “Owners of rental property (landlords) who rent or lease their own real estate are not required to be licensed nor are the employees of the property owners who rent or lease their employer's properties in the owner's name.”

Hopefully that clears up any ambiguity. Best of luck!

I would concur with @Matt Souza to a degree--except, maybe, the last part.  Those more up to speed on licensing law in Michigan have stated that anyone that is paid by someone else to show or close leases must be licensed, think leasing agents working for the owner, etc.  This, as far as I know, includes employees.  I'm not sure why a State of Michigan website would say such a thing--but mistakes are made.   Here's the actual law on who needs to be licensed for what:

Michigan’s occupational code, we find a very broad definition capturing any individual or entity that:

…who with intent to collect or receive a fee, compensation, or valuable consideration, sells or offers for sale, buys or offers to buy, provides or offers to provide market analyses, lists or offers or attempts to list, or negotiates the purchase or sale or exchange or mortgage of real estate, or negotiates for the construction of a building on real estate; who leases or offers or rents or offers for rent real estate or the improvements on the real estate for others, as a whole or partial vocation; who engages in property management as a whole or partial vocation; who sells or offers for sale, buys or offers to buy, leases or offers to lease, or negotiates the purchase or sale or exchange of a business, business opportunity, or the goodwill of an existing business for others; or who, as owner or otherwise, engages in the sale of real estate as a principal vocation.

Chatting with someone from the Michigan REALTORS would likely be a good place to get confirmation as they would be the ones most interested.

It's also important that whoever is doing the leasing is trained in all the laws around leases, RRP, fair housing, landlord-tenant law, tenant relationship act, HUD, lead disclosure law, eviction laws, etc. Owners can get into big trouble when their staff makes mistakes in these areas--especially fair housing and lead. Of course, owners should also know all of this in order to know whether or not their employees are doing things correctly.

Happy investing!

First step is to download landlord tenant laws for your state and I would recommend joining a landlord association.

The concept is one thing the reality is it is a business, you need a plan, resources, and understanding of the basic laws for rentals. Which include Fair Housing laws.

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