2024 Changes to Real Estate Licensing Laws

On April 1, 2024, many of the provisions of Public Act 23-84, which revised the real estate licensing and enforcement statutes, become effective. Below, please find a summary of some of the most important changes that will impact Real Estate Licensees.

 
Associate Brokers 

Public Act 23-84 created a new classification of real estate licensee, the “associate broker.” Associate Brokers are individuals that have obtained their real estate broker’s license, but then chosen to work for another licensed broker who will act as the “supervising broker.” The relationship between a supervising broker and an associate broker is similar to the relationship between a supervising broker and a real estate salesperson.

To receive the designation of “associate broker” a real estate broker must register with the Department, indicating, among other things, who the associate broker’s supervising broker will be.

While designated as an associate broker, an individual may not engage in the business of real estate outside of their relationship with their supervising broker.

Associate brokers may change their designation back to a full real estate broker at any time. They must change their designation within 14 days if there is no longer a reporting relationship between the associate broker and the supervising broker.

There is a $25 fee for registering a change in status related to an associate broker designation. 

Leasing Agent
 

New to the real estate statutes is the designation of “leasing agents.” The leasing agent designation is not a license or credential issued by the Department. Rather, leasing agents are individuals that, if they meet certain criteria, may engage in certain leasing activity that would otherwise require a real estate license.

Leasing agents are individuals that are directly employed by rental complexes with at least 50 units leased or available for lease.

Leasing agents may show apartments in the rental complexes where they are employed and negotiate rental agreements on behalf of their employers. These contracts must be maintained for seven years and provided electronically to DCP upon request.

Leasing agents must have a written contract before engaging in leasing or renting activity.

 

Real Estate Education Programs

Real Estate School Registration 

All schools offering Continuing Education (CE) or prelicensure principles and practices (PNP) courses must register with the Department biennially (every other year).

To register, a school must: 1) pay a $100 non-refundable registration fee; and 2) submit a form attesting that all courses offered comply with applicable requirements and that all instructors at the school meet the act’s prescribed qualifications.

 
Real Estate Instructor Qualifications

Instructors at real estate schools are required to have one of the following:

  • At least five years of experience as a practicing real estate licensee;

  • Expertise, or a professional designation from an institute or society, in the field in which the instructor teaches; or

  • (a) experience teaching a course in a formal education program or (b) attended an accredited college or university extension instructors’ seminar.

If teaching a collegiate level course that is part of a degree program, the instructor must have:

  • Teaching experience and a master’s degree in the appropriate field; or

  • Another combination of qualifications that the Real Estate Commission approves.

 
Real Estate Course Registration
 

In addition to registering as a school, real estate schools must submit each CE and PNP course to the Department for approval and registration. Only registered and approved courses count toward licensing or CE requirements.

Each course registration is subject to a non-refundable $50 registration fee and lasts 5 years.

To be approved, the school must submit an application which includes:

  • An outline of the course content detailing its duration and the amount of time spent on each subject covered;
  • The course instructor’s name and contact information;
  • A copy of the certificate that will be issued to students upon completion or, if the school offers more than one course, the DCP-approved template course completion certificate;
  • The cancellation and refund policy;
  • An attestation that the course meets all legal requirements; and
  • The location of the course (if taught in-person).
 
Real Estate Course Format
 

Prelicensing courses must be delivered either in-person or live online. For live online courses, instructors and schools must ensure attendance and engagement with the students via periodic assessments or another form of real-time communication between students and instructors.

Continuing education courses do not need to be delivered live. However, students participating in online CE courses must be instructed for the full-time duration of the course as it is registered with the Department. To ensure this, the course must either be offered in a live-online course format; or use technology to prevent students from finishing the course early.

 

Other Changes

Acknowledgement of Interpreter Services
 

If a real estate licensee (or their employee) acts as an interpreter for a buyer or renter, the real estate licensees must have the buyer/renter sign the following statement:

  • This real estate transaction or these negotiations were conducted in (buyer’s or renter’s native language), which is my native language. I voluntarily choose to have the Real Estate (Broker/Salesperson) act as my interpreter during the negotiations. The obligations of the contract or other written agreement were explained to me in my native language. I understand the contract or other written agreement.

If someone other than the licensee (or their employee) is the interpreter, the licensee must have the interpreter and buyer/renter sign the following statement.

  • I, (name of buyer or renter), used (name of interpreter) to act as my interpreter during this real estate transaction or these negotiations. The obligations of this contract or other written agreement were explained to me in my native language by the interpreter. I understand the contract or other written agreement.

    (signature of buyer or renter)

    (relationship of interpreter to buyer or renter)

     

  • I, (name of interpreter), acted as interpreter during this real estate transaction or these negotiations. The obligations of the contract or other written agreement were explained to (name of buyer or renter) in their native language. I understand the contract or other written agreement.

(signature of interpreter)

(relationship of interpreter to buyer or renter).”

Wrapping Up or Transitioning Brokerage Business

It has been and remains the law that salespeople and teams cannot engage in real estate business while their supervising broker (or the corporation’s designated broker) is deceased. New to the real estate laws, however, is the option to appoint a “custodial broker” when a supervising broker dies or becomes incapacitated.

A custodial broker is a licensed broker who is temporarily appointed to either:

  • conclude a deceased or incapacitated broker’s real estate business matters or transition them to another broker; or
  • assist in transitioning the broker’s ownership interest in a business entity engaged in real estate to comply with Connecticut law and Department regulations.

If a broker dies or is incapacitated, the executor of their estate (or other legally authorized person) may apply to DCP requesting the appointment of a custodial broker.

Custodial brokers must preserve financial interests of the deceased or incapacitated broker.

The custodial broker can only negotiate purchases, sales, or leases of real estate on behalf of the incapacitated broker if:

  • (1) it is subject to a preexisting agreement with the incapacitated broker; and
  • The prospective purchaser or lessor has executed a contract or paid a deposit to reserve a right to purchase or lease.

Custodial brokers can serve for a period of up to 180 days unless that period is extended by the Department.

License Renewals, Reinstatement, and Appeals
 

Real estate licenses that are issued on or after April 1, 2024 will expire biennially instead of annually.

The licensing fees for real estate licenses are unchanged, but are now due two years at a time. For example, the renewal fee for a broker’s license is now $750 biennially, instead of $375 annually.

If a licensee fails to renew on time after April 1, 2024, licensees will be able apply for renewal up to 90 days following the expiration date of their license. However, a late application fee of 10% will be assess for any application that is submitted up to 90 days late.

If a license has been lapsed for between 90 days and 3 years, an application for reinstatement is required. Reinstatement is discretionary—the Real Estate Commission may or may not approve your reinstatement. A Reinstatement application requires:

  • If the applicant did not work in real estate, they must:
    • Pay the current years renewal fee for reinstatement; and
    • Catch up on any CE required for the two years preceding the reinstatement.
  • If the applicant worked in real estate, they must:
    • Pay all license and late fees ($375 per year for brokers; $285 per year for salespeople) due for the lapsed period; and
    • Demonstrate completion of any CE required for the year preceding the reinstatement.
  • Military Reinstatement
    • Service members may request reinstatement of a credential lapsed up to three years, without fees.
    • Service members must show they completed at least six hours of CE within one year before the request for reinstatement.
 
Late CE Completion
 

If a real estate licensee fails to complete their CE for any two-year license period, they must pay:

  • $315 if CE is completed within 2 months after the CE completion deadline; or
  • $625 if CE is completed within 2 to 4 months after the CE completion deadline.
 
Disclosures to Other Party and Prospective Parties
 

A real estate licensee who represents a seller, lessor, prospective purchaser or lessee in a real estate transaction shall, upon request, disclose in writing the identity of the real estate licensee's client to any party to the transaction who is not represented by another real estate licensee.

Licensees must disclose, in writing, to prospective parties by the first personal meeting:

  • The types of agency relationships available to the prospective party; and
  • That the prospective party should not share confidential information with the licensee until they have entered into a written representation agreement together.

In residential real estate transactions, licensees must give a prospective party information on fair housing and discrimination.

 
Prospective Parties Confidential Information
 

Licensees cannot:

  • Reveal confidential information about a former client or prospective party
  • Use confidential information about that person to their disadvantage; or
  • Use confidential information about that person for the advantage of the licensee or a third party.
 
Teams Registration
 

A team may now switch their supervising broker without applying for a new team registration.

When teams transfer to a new supervising broker, the new broker must update the team’s registration within 14 days.

 
Compensation for Out-of-State Referrals Now Permitted
 

An out-of-state real estate licensee may receive compensation for referring to a real estate licensee in this state a prospective party to a real estate transaction in this state.

 
Broker Subagency Prohibited
 

Broker subagency is now strictly prohibited, regardless of any informed written consent to the contrary.

 
Duty to Retain Documents Electronically
 

Unless it is commercially impractical, requires brokers to keep documents (e.g., purchase contracts, leases, options) in an electronic format

 
Fair Housing Disclosure Required for all Residential Property
 

The disclosure regarding fair housing is now required for all residential property transactions (not just two-unit or more properties).