Yes, you do need to have a broker’s license to do most property management tasks in the State of Illinois. Retaining a licensed broker on staff – and operating according to the licensed brokers’ recommendations – should go a long way towards compliance with the law.
The major law you should be aware of is the Illinois Real Estate Licensing Act of 2000.
This law defines a “broker” as anyone who engages in the following activities:
- Sells, exchanges, purchases, rents or leases real estate.
- Offers to sell, exchange, purchase, rent or lease real estate.
- Negotiates, offers, attempts or agrees to negotiate the sale, exchange, purchase, rental or leasing of real estate.
- Lists, offers, attempts, or agrees to list real estate for sale, lease or exchange.
- Buys, sells, offers to buy or sell, or otherwise deals in options on real estate or improvements thereon.
- Supervises the collection, offer, attempt or agreement to collect rent for the use of real estate.
- Advertises or represents himself or herself as being engaged in the business of buying, selling, exchanging, renting or leasing real estate.
- Assists or directs in procuring or referring of leads or prospects, intended to result in the sale, exchange, lease or rental of real estate.
- Assists or directs in the negotiation of any transaction intended to result in the sale, exchange, leas or rental of real estate.
- Opens real estate to the public for marketing purposes
- Sells, leases or offers for sale or lease real estate at auction.
Note that paragraph 6, above, is very clear – you must have a broker supervise rent collection efforts, as well as handle your leasing transactions.
However, Illinois law also provides for, a special leasing agent license, designed to enable the licensee to engage “only in residential leasing activities for which a license is required under this Act. Such activities include without limitation leasing or renting residential real property, or attempting, offering or negotiating to lease or rent residential real property, or supervising the collection, offer, attempt agreement to collect rent for the use of residential real property.
However, even those with a leasing agent license must still be sponsored and employed by a licensed broker. So you’re back to your original broker’s requirement.
Also, note that Illinois law requires your payments to go via a sponsored broker’s management company, and any advertising must be done under the name of the sponsoring brokers’ company. Section 10-20(a) requires all licensees to work for only one managing broker.
Writing about personal finance and investments since 1999, Jason Van Steenwyk started as a reporter with Mutual Funds Magazine and served as editor of Investors’ Digest. He now publishes feature articles in many publications including Annuity Selling Guide, Bankrate.com, and more.