A year ago, I rented a house from a deputy sheriff acting on behalf of an out of state owner. We made improvements to the property with the permission of the deputy and now that the home is lovely, they want to evict me to double the rent. I paid rent with a money order being payable to the Deputy, putting his name on all payments. The deputy has been depositing the money into his personal checking account to take $50 out for himself for managing the property and sending the remainder the owner out of state. Is this illegal for the deputy since he is not licensed in real estate or property management?
@Jacqueline Peek if you have a lease, and are current on the payments they can not evict. IF your lease term is up what does your lease say?
In my state, techically it is not legal, but all he would have to do is get a limited power of attorney to correct it.
What more important is what is in your lease.
Does it give a term? are you inside that term? are you on a month to month?
That is more important that trying to prove its illegal.
Unfortunately, and it's not fair, but I've seen that many times. A tenant improves a property, planning on staying there, then the owner says"thanks for the improvements, I can now get more rent!" Scummy, but common.
If the deputy is not licensed, he is illegally practicing real estate by acting as a property manager for someone else.
There's not much you can do about them asking for higher rent because of the improvements you made, unless you have a lease in effect. That's why you should never put your own money into improving someone else's property.
Thank you everyone for your comments.
Unfortunately, they would not give me a lease to sign therefore making it month to month. I am my Dad's only caregiver and I guess I was just stupid for trying to create a nice place for my Dad with Alzheimer and prostate cancer to live peacefully until I could not care for him and he has to go to a facility. I am crushed thinking we have to move after he has become comfortable and safe with his surroundings. Obviously, it is going to be really hard for him in a new environment. I guess there isn't anything I can do to protect us from heartless people.
@Jacqueline Peek Unfortunately that's why a lease is so important. Especially if you plan on improving the property.
You do not need a license in every state to perform property management.
I am sorry for your situation. But this is an unfortunate example of why you should not improve a property you do not own, especially without having anything in writing.
And just to play devil's advocate, not everyone's opinion of "improvements" is the same. A tenant may think painting every room purple is an improvement.
I had a rental recently with an unfinished basement (which is the way I wanted it to remain). After evicting the tenant, I discovered he had half finished the basement (i.e. improving it). It cost me about $5k to properly finish the rest of it and it added zero additional value.
1) i don't know of a state where performing a real estate function for another is legal without a license...so i would love to know which states permit that
2) if you dont have a lease agreement, then you could be considered a squatter and even if that does not apply...you most likely have no recourse
3) improvements are explained in a lease agreement and most of the time require owner approval and no reimbursements - improve at your own risk
good post with many lessons to be learned/
@Fred T. Idaho is the only state I know of where a license is not required to manage property.
In MD it is legal to be a property manager without a license.
@Fred Heller Thanks!
@Ned Carey Thanks!
Just completed some research and it appears there are a few more that do not require a license to Manage Residential Real Estate Properties:
Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts and Vermont
Florida, however, does require a license...so if that's where you reside then you may have some form of recourse available...consult a Real Estate Attorney in your local.
Good learning post...thanks for the new-found knowledge!/
Idaho will require a license in the near future as the RE Commission is in the process of drafting legislation
@Tom C. good note...thanks!
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