Author Topic: Need a business license to be a landlord??  (Read 3063 times)

Goatee Joe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 24
Need a business license to be a landlord??
« on: June 16, 2014, 10:51:31 PM »
I'm to be a first-time landlord and just read in our local newsletter that our county (Arlington, VA) requires landlords to obtain a business license.  I've never heard of this before.  For all you DC-area Mustachians, is this something I have to do?  Is this a common thing?  All I want to do is rent out a property to tenant, and have a property management company manage that process while I'm away.  Do I actually have to go give the county their pound of flesh?

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27911
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Need a business license to be a landlord??
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2014, 11:01:43 PM »
Sounds like maybe, yeah.

Quote
“Different regulations apply depending on the jurisdiction where your property is located,” said Dale House, director of Coldwell Banker Property Management for the Mid-Atlantic Region. “In D.C., every landlord has to have a basic business license because renting out your home is considered an unincorporated business. Northern Virginia doesn’t have any licensing requirements, and in Maryland, the regulations depend on which county you are in.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/5/cover-story-when-a-homeowner-becomes-a-landlord/

If course, that's some quote from some guy from some article from over two years ago.  So don't take it on blind faith.  But it does seem like it.  Obviously a lawyer is one person to contact, but I'd actually suggest you start with the property management company you're planning on using - they likely will be able to guide you.

Start reading here:
http://housing.arlingtonva.us/get-help/rental-services/tenant-landlord-rights/

I'd also suggest you contact the Housing Information Center to find out about their free semenar for landlords:
Quote
The County offers free seminars for landlords who own or manage fewer than five residential properties in Arlington. The seminar examines the nuts and bolts of landlord-tenant law, and covers lease requirements, tenant screening, and Virginia Fair Housing Law. To learn about upcoming seminars, contact the Housing Information Center, 703-228-3765.
http://housing.arlingtonva.us/get-help/rental-services/tenant-landlord-rights/information-landlords/
http://housing.arlingtonva.us/get-help/contact-housing-information-center/

Hope that helps!
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Letj

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 381
Re: Need a business license to be a landlord??
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2014, 06:09:49 PM »
I'm to be a first-time landlord and just read in our local newsletter that our county (Arlington, VA) requires landlords to obtain a business license.  I've never heard of this before.  For all you DC-area Mustachians, is this something I have to do?  Is this a common thing?  All I want to do is rent out a property to tenant, and have a property management company manage that process while I'm away.  Do I actually have to go give the county their pound of flesh?

Not in my neck of the wood in VA. Only property managers require a business license but if you own and manage your own properties, no business license is required.