Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Are California Community Managers Required to have a Contractor's License?

By Tyler Berding and Julia Hunting

Legislative Update!

The Governor of California has signed SB 822 which clarifies AB 2237, discussed below, and confirms the legislative intent that Community Managers are not required to have a contractor's license in the course of their regular duties. SB 822 amends California B&P Code Section 7026.1 to add the following section: 

(b) The term “contractor” or “consultant” does not include a common interest development manager, as defined in Section 11501, and a common interest development manager is not required to have a contractor's license when performing management services, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 11500.

                 The blogosphere has been burning up lately over a new California law that some commentators say might require community association managers to have a General Contractor’s license to perform their jobs.  Since property managers can be said to “oversee” bids for construction projects it has been suggested that they might fall within the expanded definition of “consultant” which was added to the basic contractor’s licensing statute by Assembly Bill 2237.[1]                           
                California Business and Professions Code Section 7026.1(b)(1) defines who must have a General Contractor’s “B” license as follows: 
                “Any person, consultant to an owner-builder, firm, association, organization, partnership, business trust, corporation, or company, who or which undertakes, offers to undertake, purports to undertake, purports to have the capacity to undertake, or submits a bid to construct any building or home improvement project, or part thereof.” 
                AB 2237 added subsection (2) which states that a “consultant” is someone who: (A) Provides or oversees a bid for a construction project; or (B) Arranges for and sets up work schedules for contractors and subcontractors and maintains oversight of a construction project.” 

                Question:These sound like tasks that a community manager might perform for their client associations during construction projects so why don’t they need to be licensed under the new law?”

                Answer: The new subsection modifies 7026.1(b)(1) by adding a further definition of “consultant,”[2] but it does not remove or change the other qualifying language in that same section which defines a “contractor” as someone offering to construct a building or part of a building.