A real estate agent or broker can charge a fee for providing prospective tenants a list of properties. This is a prepaid rental listing service.
Individuals and corporations may also sell prepaid rental listing services; however, they must attain a separate PRLS license. In order to obtain this license, an individual or corporation must:
Fill out an application form
Complete a fingerprint card
Obtain $10,000 bond or deposit
Pay PRLS license fees
Each additional location must meet the above application requirements.
Tax-exempt organizations or agencies associated with the government are not required to obtain the $10,000 bond or deposit amounts.
In some cases, an agent may collect an advance fee from a prospective tenant prior to locating properties. To do so, agents are required to hold an additional license called a Prepaid Rental Listing Service (PRLS) license.
An agent is required to give a prospective tenant a written contract indicating the terms of his or her services. After the contract has been approved by both parties, the agent has a maximum of five business days to provide the prospective tenant with a list of potential properties. Should the agent fail to do so within that time period, or if his or her services do not lead to the prospective tenant finding a suitable unit, the agent must refund the original amount paid by the prospective tenant.
An agent must disclose all known information about each property and cannot mislead a prospective tenant about the details of a property. An agent also cannot refer a tenant to a property that is not available, or to a unit that does not fit the agreed-upon conditions of a potential unit.
Unlike a standard real estate license, a prospective PRLS agent is not required to take and pass an exam. Instead, he or she must:
submit an individual license application (RE 271), or a corporation license application (RE 272)
submit fingerprints at a live scan company
submit a signed state public benefits statement (RE 205)
purchase a surety bond of $10,000 for each physical location of business
pay licensing fees
PRLS licenses are issued for a two-year period. Additionally, the same PRLS license does not apply to every location of the business; each location must have a separate license.