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Victory for PA Community Association Managers – No Real Estate License needed!

The Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission (“REC”) has withdrawn its prosecution which claimed Community Association Managers (“CAMs”) are required to earn real estate broker and salesperson licenses.

The REC has finally recognized that CAM’s do not provide rental property management services.

Marshal Granor, Esq, a fellow in CAI’s College of Community Association Lawyers, and long-time delegate on the CAI Pennsylvania Legislative Action Committee (PA-LAC), provided an expert report in favor of Bob Gillenberger of RJ Community Management, a Pittsburgh-based community association management company. One week prior to the scheduled January 12th hearing on the case, the prosecutor withdrew the REC’s complaint.  In a similar case decided by the REC on December 27, 2022, the REC held:

…the evidence establishes that Respondents contract with community and homeowner associations, not the individual property owners. They handle things like maintenance requests for common areas and buildings. They do no collect rent, negotiate leases, or screen tenants. To perform the activities detailed in above findings of fact, Respondents were not required to a hold a current and active license as a real estate broker or salesperson.

The REC had previously held that the Pennsylvania Real Estate Licensing and Registration Act requires a license for “property management,” and CAMs often say they “manage” properties. In fact, CAMs assist boards in running their nonprofit organizations. The idea that CAMs would have to take the required classes and study mortgage lending, lease and purchase contracts, and much more makes no sense. Likewise, requiring the owners of community management companies to obtain broker licenses (a process which takes at least three years of apprenticeships) makes no sense.

PA LAC has been working diligently to keep property management and community association management separate disciplines. Of course, if a CAM also helps owners lease or sell properties, then a real estate license IS required. Had the decision by the REC gone against the manager in question, PA LAC was prepared to introduce legislation to correct the decision.

PA LAC received a grant from the CAI Issues Advancement Fund which helped pay for RJ Community Management’s defense in this case. RJ Community Management and Bob Gillenberger were represented by Brett Woodburn, Esq., of Woodburn Law in Harrisburg.

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