Apartment Building Manager Requirements in California


A manager or other responsible person must reside upon the premises and shall have charge of every apartment house in which there are 16 or more apartments, if the owner does not reside upon the premises. Only one manager or other responsible person is required for all structures under one ownership, on one contiguous parcel of land. If the owner does not reside upon the premises of any apartment house in which there are more than 4 but less than 16 apartments, a notice stating the owner’s name and address, or the owner’s agent in charge of the apartment house, must be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises.

Wage and Hour Laws – For Apartment Managers

As of 2-1-15

Basic Rules:

• The minimum wage for a manager is $9.00 per hour for each hour worked.

• Overtime of 1 1/2 times the hourly rate ($13.50) must be paid if more than 8 hours are worked per day, 40 hours per week, or if 6 consecutive days are worked.

• If the manager is not required to live at the property of an under 16 unit building, but the manager chooses to live there, any rental amount may be charged.

• If the manager is required to live at the property, regardless of the number of units, the rent paid by the manager may not exceed the monthly sum of $508.38 for a single manager, or $752.02 for a couple.

• If no rent is charged, the manager’s wages may be offset by up to 2/3rds the ordinary rental value, but no more than $508.38 (for one manager) or $752.02 (for a couple) per month.

Qualifications to Basic Rules:

Under 16 Apartment Units:

If an apartment house is less than 16 units and the manager is not required to live at the property, the manager can be charged any rental amount, even if greater than $508.38 or $752.02. However, the full hourly minimum wage must be paid to the manager without any offset if full rent is charged. A dollar-for-dollar wage reduction in payment of the minimum wage not exceeding $508.38 or $752.02 (up to 2/3rds the unit’s value) is allowed with a partial rent reduction.

16 Apartment Units or More:

Exception No. 1: Offset of Wages: The manager’s wages may be reduced by the lesser of (1) 2/3rds the unit’s rental value, or (2) $508.38 per month (1 manager) or $752.02 per month (couple) if no rent is paid. A dollar-for-dollar wage reduction is allowed only a partial rent reduction. The manager’s wages may not be offset by more than $508.38 or $752.02 even though the apartment may be worth significantly more.

Exception No. 2: Check Exchange: The manager may pay up to 2/3rds of the value of the unit as rent (without regard to the $508.38 and $752.02 limitations) provided that separate checks are exchanged for the manager’s payment of rent and the owner’s payment of wages. Thus, the owner must pay the manager the full minimum wage ($9.00 for all hours worked) and the manager must then pay the owner an amount not exceeding 2/3rds the rental value by separate checks.

$3,118 Manager:

The exemption from wage laws for highly compensated managers receiving a salary of $3,118 per month is generally inapplicable because other conditions also apply. We don’t recommend this exemption.


• Sign a Written Contract: No offsets to the minimum wage are allowed unless the manager signs a written contract with the owner providing for such offsets.

• Management Certification: Always require the manager to record all hours worked. Initial and deliver weekly reports to the owner or property management company.

• Posting: Post the manager’s name and address in a conspicuous place at the building.

• Record Keeping: Keep accurate records of all matters concerning hiring, hours worked, and the termination of managers.