The Leichter Law Firm, APC, Los Angeles employment law attorney, Aryeh Leichter knows California law requires owners of apartment complexes that have more than 16 units to employ a “resident apartment manager” living onsite to oversee the property.

A resident manager is an employee who must be compensated for their services, under California’s employment laws. In most cases, California property owners attempt to pay their resident apartment managers for the work they do with free or reduced rent.

Here is what residential managers in California need to know.

Can Free Rent or Reduced Rate Rent Be Factored into a California Resident Manager’s Compensation?

Before California property owners can exchange living accommodations for work, they must meet specific requirements. The most important requirement includes living accommodations can only count towards minimum wage if there is a “voluntary written agreement” between the property owner and residential manager in place.

The agreement may include one of three free rent or reduced rent rate options:

  • No Exchange Option

The No Exchange Option provides free rent and minimum wage payment for all hours worked. Beginning January 2022, the minimum wage in California is $14/hour when there are fewer than 25 employees, and $15/hour when there are 26 or more employees.

However, depending on where the apartment is in California, there may be a higher local minimum wage rate.

  • Rental Allowance Option

The Rental Allowance Option for employers with at least 26 employees provides a maximum rental stipend, dictated by Industrial Wage Order No. 5, of $790.67 for one person and $1,169.59 for two people who work as co-managers each month.

The resident manager will receive payment for the hours worked that exceed the rental credit amount.

For example, if a resident manager who lives alone works 60 hours per month at $15 per hour, their total payment would be $900 – $790.67 = $109.33 paid to the employee by check.

  • The Check Exchange Option

The Check Exchange Option allows residential managers to receive a discounted rent rate, up to 2/3rd the market rate of the apartment. The manager pays his or her rent and receives payment for each hour worked.

Each of these exceptions must be acknowledged in a legally binding employment contract that includes specific terms and agreements and is signed by both the residential apartment manager and the complex’s owner or management company.

If you are a residential manager in California and believe you have not been paid according to California employment laws, or if your agreement with the property owner has been breached by your employer, the Leichter Law Firm, APC can help you pursue damages.

Contact the Leichter Law Firm, APC Employment Lawyer in Los Angeles, California

Contact Aryeh Leichter, the Leichter Law Firm, APC founder and employment law attorney in Los Angeles County today to discuss the legal remedies that may be available for your unique workplace circumstances today, starting with a free consultation by calling 818-915-6624 or contacting the firm online today.

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