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NAA and WMFHA Address Property Management Licensing at Hearing

On October 12, the Washington State Senate Housing Stability and Affordability Committee held a virtual working session to discuss residential property management licensing as they consider possible legislation. During the hearing, the rental housing industry made its voice heard as industry advocates provided both the local, practical perspective from members of the Washington Multi-Family Housing Association (WMFHA) and analysis of the national policy landscape from the National Apartment Association (NAA).

WMFHA members Chris Dobler, Partner & Vice-President of Dobler Management Company; Melissa Koenig, Principal; and Spencer Anderson, Vice-President, United Marketing Inc. gave compelling testimony of their on-the-job experience, while NAA’s Manager of Public Policy Jodie Applewhite shared insights about the national perspective.

In the context of real estate, licensing requirements typically apply to agents and brokers who facilitate sales and purchases of property in exchange for a fee or commission. Some states extend these requirements to cover other real estate transactions, such as leasing, renting or managing rental property. Applewhite shared that according to research conducted by the U.S. Treasury, tougher professional licensing regulations do not ensure higher quality of services rendered.

Licensure requirements drive up costs for consumers, act as a barrier to entry into the labor force and limit the mobility of individuals who possess a professional license. Moreover, the Hamilton Project, an economic policy initiative within the Brookings Institution, shows that licensing results in an estimated 2.8 million fewer jobs and costs licensed professionals approximately $203 billion per year.

NAA, along with its affiliate partners around the country including WMFHA, continues to urge lawmakers to reject any proposal that requires licensing of property management or leasing staff, and instead consider less burdensome approaches such as encouraging voluntary certification.

Should you have any questions regarding occupational licensing, please contact Jodie Applewhite, Manager of Public Policy or learn more about the Real Estate Licensing Policy Issue on the NAA website.