PRINTER'S NO. 228
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
257
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY DINNIMAN, KILLION, SCHWANK, KEARNEY AND HAYWOOD,
FEBRUARY 7, 2019
REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION AND PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE,
FEBRUARY 7, 2019
AN ACT
Amending the act of February 19, 1980 (P.L.15, No.9), entitled
"An act establishing the State Real Estate Commission and
providing for the licensing of real estate brokers and
salesmen," in definitions, further providing for definitions;
in application of act and penalties, further providing for
unlawful to conduct business without license or registration
certificate, for criminal penalties and for exclusions; in
powers and duties of the State Real Estate Commission in
general, further providing for administration and
enforcement; in qualifications and applications for licenses
and registration certificates, providing for land agent
registration certificate; and, in duties of licensees,
further providing for prohibited acts.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The definition of "broker" in section 201 of the
act of February 19, 1980 (P.L.15, No.9), known as the Real
Estate Licensing and Registration Act, is amended and the
section is amended by adding a definition to read:
Section 201. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the
meanings given to them in this section:
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* * *
"Broker." Any person who, for another and for a fee,
commission or other valuable consideration:
(1) negotiates with or aids any person in locating or
obtaining for purchase, lease or an acquisition of interest
in any real estate;
(2) negotiates the listing, sale, purchase, exchange,
lease, time share and similarly designated interests,
financing or option for any real estate;
(3) manages any real estate;
(4) represents himself to be a real estate consultant,
counsellor, agent or finder;
(5) undertakes to promote the sale, exchange, purchase
or rental of real estate: Provided, however, That this
provision shall not include any person whose main business is
that of advertising, promotion or public relations;
(5.1) undertakes to perform a comparative market
analysis; or
(6) attempts to perform any of the above acts.
The term "broker" does not include a land agent.
* * *
"Land agent." A person who, in the course and scope of the
person's business in this Commonwealth and on acting on the
person's own behalf or on behalf of a prospective lessee or
buyer, engages primarily in:
(1) negotiating the acquisition or divestiture of oil,
gas or mineral rights, including the acquisition or
divestiture of land or oil, gas or mineral rights for a
pipeline;
(2) negotiating business agreements that provide for the
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exploration for or development of oil, gas or minerals;
(3) determining ownership of oil, gas or minerals
through research of public and private records;
(4) reviewing the status of title, curing title defects,
and otherwise reducing title risk associated with ownership
of oil, gas or minerals;
(5) managing rights or obligations derived from
ownership of interests and oil, gas or minerals; or
(6) activities to secure the unitization or pooling of
interests in oil, gas or minerals.
* * *
Section 2. Sections 301, 303 and 304(3) of the act are
amended to read:
Section 301. Unlawful to conduct business without license or
registration certificate.
It shall be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly,
to engage in or conduct, or to advertise or hold himself out as
engaging in or conducting the business, or acting in the
capacity of a broker or salesperson, cemetery broker, cemetery
salesperson, campground membership salesperson, time-share
salesperson, builder-owner salesperson, rental listing referral
agent [or], cemetery company or land agent within this
Commonwealth without first being licensed or registered as
provided in this act, unless he is exempted from obtaining a
license or registration certificate under the provisions of
section 304.
Section 303. Criminal penalties.
Any person who shall engage in or carry on the business, or
act in the capacity of a broker, salesperson, cemetery broker,
cemetery salesperson, campground membership salesperson, time-
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share salesperson, builder-owner salesperson, rental listing
referral agent [or], cemetery company or land agent, within this
Commonwealth, without a license or registration certificate, or
shall carry on or continue business after the suspension or
revocation of any such license or registration certificate
issued to him, or shall employ any person as a salesperson or
cemetery salesperson to whom a license has not been issued, or
whose license or registration certificate as such shall have
been revoked or suspended, shall be guilty of a summary offense
and upon conviction thereof for a first offense shall be
sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding $500 or suffer
imprisonment, not exceeding three months, or both and for a
second or subsequent offense shall be guilty of a felony of the
third degree and upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to
pay a fine of not less than $2,000 but not more than $5,000 or
to imprisonment for not less than one year but not more than two
years, or both.
Section 304. Exclusions.
Except as otherwise provided in this act, the provisions of
this act shall not apply to the following:
* * *
(3) The officers or employees of a partnership or
corporation whose principal business is the discovery,
extraction, distribution or transmission of energy or mineral
resources, provided that the purchase, sale or lease of real
estate is a common and necessary transaction in the conduct
of such principal business, unless otherwise provided under
Subchapter K of Chapter 5.
* * *
Section 3. Section 406 of the act is amended by adding a
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paragraph to read:
Section 406. Administration and enforcement.
The commission shall have the power and its duty shall be to
administer and enforce the laws of the Commonwealth relating to:
* * *
(4) Those activities involving land agents for which
registration is required under this act to instruct and
require its agents to bring prosecutions for unauthorized and
unlawful practice.
Section 4. Chapter 5 of the act is amended by adding a
subchapter to read:
SUBCHAPTER K
LAND AGENT REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE
Section 596.1. Requirements for registration certificate.
Each applicant shall as a condition precedent to obtaining a
land agent registration certificate:
(1) Be at least 18 years of age.
(2) Submit to the commission the following information:
(i) In accordance with 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 91 (relating
to criminal history record information), a report of
criminal history record information from the Pennsylvania
State Police or a statement from the Pennsylvania State
Police that the State Police central repository contains
no such information relating to the applicant. The report
of criminal history record information shall be no more
than one year old.
(ii) If the applicant has not been a resident of
this Commonwealth for the two years immediately preceding
the date of application, the applicant shall submit a
report of Federal criminal history record information
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obtained under 28 CFR Pt. 16, Subpt. C (relating to
production of FBI identification records in response to
written requests by subjects thereof).
Section 596.2. Application and fee for registration
certificate.
(a) Each applicant for a land agent registration certificate
shall submit an application for a registration certificate, in
writing to the department, on a form provided by the department,
which shall include, at a minimum, all of the following
information:
(1) The name of the applicant or, if the applicant is
not an individual, the names and addresses of all principals
of the applicant.
(2) The business address, telephone number and
electronic mail address of the applicant.
(3) The Social Security number of the applicant or, if
the applicant is not an individual, the Federal employer
identification number of the applicant.
(4) A list of any other state or other jurisdiction in
which the applicant holds or has held a similar registration
or license.
(5) A list of any other state or other jurisdiction in
which the applicant has had a similar registration or license
suspended or revoked.
(6) A statement whether a pending judgment or tax lien
exists against the applicant.
(b) A registration certificate shall be renewed biennially.
(c) The commission shall establish an initial application
fee and a biennial renewal fee by regulation.
Section 596.3. Establishment of registry.
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The commission shall establish and maintain a registry of
land agents with registration certificates operating in this
Commonwealth. The registry shall:
(1) Be available for public inspection on the
commission's publicly accessible Internet website.
(2) Display the land agent's name, business address and
registration certificate.
Section 596.4. Proof of registration certificate prior to
obtaining any mineral rights.
Upon first contact with a property owner, a land agent shall
provide to the property owner proof that the land agent is
registered under this act.
Section 5. Section 604(a)(30) of the act is amended to read:
Section 604. Prohibited acts.
(a) The commission may upon its own motion, and shall
promptly upon the verified complaint in writing of any person
setting forth a complaint under this section, ascertain the
facts and, if warranted, hold a hearing for the suspension or
revocation of a license or registration certificate or for the
imposition of fines not exceeding $1,000, or both. The
commission shall have power to refuse a license or registration
certificate for cause or to suspend or revoke a license or
registration certificate or to levy fines up to $1,000, or both,
where the said license has been obtained by false
representation, or by fraudulent act or conduct, or where a
licensee or registrant, in performing or attempting to perform
any of the acts mentioned herein, is found guilty of:
* * *
(30) Having been disciplined under a real estate
licensing law of another jurisdiction or, in the case of a
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land agent, under a similar registration or licensing law of
another jurisdiction, including, but not limited to, having a
license or registration certificate suspended or revoked, a
fine or penalty imposed or being censured or reprimanded
publicly or privately, except that the commission shall not
have the authority to levy a fine solely on the basis of this
paragraph.
* * *
Section 6. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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