Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 5536

Public Act No. 12-113

AN ACT CONCERNING CERTIFICATION AS A COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION MANAGER, LICENSURE AS A REAL ESTATE BROKER OR SALESPERSON AND THE DISPLAY OF AN OBJECT RELATED TO A RELIGIOUS PRACTICE OR BELIEF ON THE DOOR OR DOOR FRAME OF A CONDOMINIUM UNIT.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 20-452 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(a) Any person seeking a certificate of registration shall apply to the department in writing, on a form provided by the department. Such application shall include the applicant's name, residence address, business address, business telephone number, a question as to whether the applicant has been convicted of a felony in any state or jurisdiction and such other information as the department may require. On and after October 1, 2012, any person seeking an initial certificate of registration shall submit to a request by the commissioner for a state and national criminal history records check. No registration shall be issued unless the commissioner has received the results of such records check.

Sec. 2. Section 20-453 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(a) Upon receipt of a completed application and the appropriate fees, the department, upon authorization of the commission, shall: (1) Issue and deliver to the applicant a certificate of registration; or (2) refuse to issue the certificate. The commission may suspend, revoke or refuse to issue or renew any certificate issued under sections 20-450 to 20-462, inclusive, as amended by this act, or may place a registrant on probation or issue a letter of reprimand for any of the reasons stated in section 20-456, as amended by this act. No application for the reinstatement of a certificate which has been revoked shall be accepted by the department within one year after the date of such revocation.

(b) Any person issued an initial certificate of registration on or after October 1, 2012, shall, not later than one year following the date of issuance of such certificate, successfully complete a nationally recognized course on community association management and pass the National Board of Certification for Community Association Managers' Certified Manager of Community Associations examination, or a similar examination as may be prescribed by the Commissioner of Consumer Protection in regulations adopted pursuant to subsection (d) of this section.

(c) Any person who is a holder of a certificate of registration issued prior to October 1, 2012, who has held such certificate for (1) less than ten years shall, on or before October 1, 2014, successfully complete a nationally recognized course on community association management and pass the National Board of Certification for Community Association Managers' Certified Manager of Community Associations examination, or a similar examination as may be prescribed by the Commissioner of Consumer Protection in regulations adopted pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, or (2) ten years or more shall, on or before October 1, 2014, successfully complete a nationally recognized course on community association management.

(d) The department, with the advice and assistance of the commission, shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, concerning any examination required for certification under this chapter and the approval of schools, institutions or organizations offering courses in current practices and laws concerning community association management and the content of such courses. Such regulations shall include, but not be limited to: (1) Specifications for meeting the educational requirements prescribed in this section; and (2) exemptions from the educational requirements for reasons of health or instances of individual hardship. In adopting such regulations, the department may not disapprove a school, institution or organization that offers an examination or courses in current practices and laws concerning community association management solely because its examination or courses are offered or taught by electronic means, nor may the department disapprove an examination or course solely because it is offered or taught by electronic means.

Sec. 3. Section 20-456 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(a) The commission may revoke, suspend or refuse to issue or renew any certificate of registration as a community association manager or place a registrant on probation or issue a letter of reprimand for: (1) Making any material misrepresentation; (2) making any false promise of a character likely to influence, persuade or induce; (3) failing, within a reasonable time, to account for or remit any moneys coming into his possession which belong to others; (4) conviction in a court of competent jurisdiction of this or any other state of forgery, embezzlement, obtaining money under false pretenses, larceny, extortion, conspiracy to defraud, or other like offense or offenses, provided suspension or revocation under this subdivision shall be subject to the provisions of section 46a-80; (5) commingling funds of others in an escrow or trustee account; (6) commingling funds of different associations; (7) any act or conduct which constitutes dishonest, fraudulent or improper dealings; or (8) a violation of any provision of sections 20-450 to 20-462, inclusive, as amended by this act, including, but not limited to, failure to comply with the educational requirements prescribed in section 20-453, as amended by this act, or any regulation adopted under section 20-461.

(b) The commission shall not revoke or suspend any certificate of registration except upon notice and hearing in accordance with chapter 54.

Sec. 4. Subsection (d) of section 20-457 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(d) All certificates issued under the provisions of sections 20-450 to 20-462, inclusive, as amended by this act, shall expire annually on the thirty-first day of January. A holder of a certificate of registration who seeks to renew his or her certificate shall, when filing an application for renewal of the certificate, submit documentation to the department which establishes that he or she has passed any examination and completed any educational coursework, as the case may be, required for certification under this chapter. The fee for renewal of a certificate shall be two hundred dollars.

Sec. 5. Section 20-319 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(a) The commission shall authorize the Department of Consumer Protection to issue an annual renewal license to any applicant who possesses the qualifications specified in and otherwise has complied with the provisions of this chapter and any regulation adopted under this chapter. The commission shall authorize said department to issue an annual renewal of a real estate broker's license to any entity licensed pursuant to subsection (b) of section 20-312, provided such entity: (1) Was so licensed as of September 30, 2005, notwithstanding the fact such entity does not meet the requirements for publicly traded corporations required by subdivision (3) of subsection (b) of section 20-312, or (2) changes its designated real estate broker pursuant to subsection (c) of section 20-312.

(b) There is hereby established an annual renewal license to be issued by the Department of Consumer Protection. Persons licensed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter shall fulfill a continuing education requirement. Applicants for an annual renewal license for real estate brokers or real estate salespersons shall, in addition to the other requirements imposed by the provisions of this chapter, in any even-numbered year, submit proof of compliance with the continuing education requirements of this subsection to the commission, accompanied by an eight-dollar processing fee. The continuing education requirement may be satisfied by successful completion of any of the following during the two-year period preceding such renewal: (1) A course or courses, approved by the commission, of continuing education in current real estate practices and licensing laws, including, but not limited to, practices and laws concerning common interest communities, consisting of not less than twelve hours of classroom study; or (2) a written examination prepared and administered by either the Department of Consumer Protection, or by a national testing service approved by the department, which demonstrates a knowledge of current real estate practices and licensing laws; or (3) equivalent continuing educational experience or study as determined by regulations adopted pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. An applicant for examination under subdivision (2) of this subsection shall pay the required examination fee to the national testing service, if administered by such testing service, or to the Department of Consumer Protection, if administered by the department.

(c) If the commission refuses to grant an annual renewal license, the licensee or applicant, upon written notice received as provided for in this chapter, may have recourse to any of the remedies provided by sections 20-314 and 20-322.

(d) The Commissioner of Consumer Protection, in consultation with the commission, shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, concerning the approval of schools, institutions or organizations offering courses in current real estate practices and licensing laws, including, but not limited to, practices and laws concerning common interest communities, and the content of such courses. Such regulations shall include, but not be limited to: (1) Specifications for meeting equivalent continuing educational experience or study; (2) exceptions from continuous education requirements for reasons of health or instances of individual hardship. No school, institution or organization that offers a course in current real estate practices and licensing laws may be disapproved solely because its courses are offered or taught by electronic means, and no course may be disapproved solely because it is offered or taught by electronic means.

Sec. 6. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2012) (a) No person may prohibit or hinder the owner, lessee or sublessee of a condominium unit from attaching to an entry door or entry door frame of such unit an object the display of which is motivated by observance of a religious practice or sincerely held religious belief.

(b) Subsection (a) of this section shall not prohibit the enforcement or adoption of a bylaw that, to the extent allowed by the first amendment to the United States Constitution and section 3 of article first of the Constitution of the state, prohibits the display or affixing of an item on an entry door or entry door frame to the owner's, lessee's or sublessee's unit when such item: (1) Threatens the public health or safety; (2) hinders the opening and closing of an entry door; (3) violates any federal, state or local law; (4) contains graphics, language or any display that is obscene or otherwise patently offensive; (5) individually or in combination with each other item displayed or affixed on an entry door frame has a total size greater than twenty-five square inches; or (6) individually or in combination with each other item displayed or affixed on an entry door has a total size greater than four square feet.