Written by attorney John Ely Stobart

Minimum Wage for Resident Apartment Managers

Apartment Complex owners are required by the California Code of Regulations to have a "resident apartment manager" or some otherresponsible person, to reside upon the premises and manage every apartment house that has over 16 units.

Frequently, apartment managers receive accommodations as part of their compensation package (or sometimes as their only compensation).

Although this is common practice, it is hardly ever executed legally.

As apartment owner, you must be very careful in this area and closely follow the law. There are several nuances that you must follow in order to shield yourself from future civil liability for failure to pay minimum wage and overtime.

For example, an apartment complex owner can only credit $ 451.89 per month for a single manager (and $ 668.46 for a couple) towards their obligation to pay the manager minimum wage. As with any employee, Resident Apartment Managers must be paid in accordance to minimum laws. That is, the Resident Apartment Manager must be paid at least $8 for every hour worked. Simple math shows that if your apartment manager works over 19 hours a week and is only compensated with “free rent" there is most likely a minimum wage violation. This is only one example of the many ways apartment owners can unknowingly run a fowl of the law. Here are some questions that identify other areas where apartment owners can run into trouble: 1. Is your apartment manager paid minimum wage? 2. Does your apartment manager work overtime? 3. Do you pay your apartment manager overtime? 4. Do you provide any compensation other than accommodations? 5. If you provide accommodations as compensation, do you have a “voluntary written agreement" with your manger? 6. Do you know the precise hours worked by your apartment manager each day? 7. Do you keep written records of the hours worked and breaks taken by your apartment manager? If you answer “No" or “I don’t know" to any of the following, you should seek the advise of experienced employment law counsel.

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