(1) Each person, school, or institution, except approved and accredited colleges, universities, community colleges, and career centers in this state, which offers or conducts any course of study in real estate practice, teaches any course prescribed by the commission as a condition precedent to licensure or renewal of licensure as a broker or sales associate, or teaches any course designed or represented to enable or assist applicants for licensure as brokers or sales associates to pass examinations for such licensure shall, before commencing or continuing further to offer or conduct such course or courses, obtain a permit from the department and abide by the regulations imposed upon such person, school, or institution by this chapter and rules of the commission adopted pursuant to this chapter. The exemption for colleges, universities, community colleges, and career centers is limited to transferable college credit courses offered by such institutions.
(2) An applicant for a permit to operate a proprietary real estate school, to be a chief administrator of a proprietary real estate school or a state institution, or to be an instructor for a proprietary real estate school or a state institution must meet the qualifications for practice set forth in s. 475.17(1) and the following minimal requirements:
(a) “School permitholder” means the individual who is responsible for directing the overall operation of a proprietary real estate school. A school permitholder must be the holder of a license as a broker, either active or voluntarily inactive, or must have passed an instructor’s examination approved by the commission. A school permitholder must also meet the requirements of a school instructor if actively engaged in teaching.
(b) “Chief administrative person” means the individual who is responsible for the administration of the overall policies and practices of the institution or proprietary real estate school. A chief administrative person must also meet the requirements of a school instructor if actively engaged in teaching.
(c) “School instructor” means an individual who instructs persons in the classroom in noncredit college courses in a college, university, or community college or courses in a career center or proprietary real estate school. 1. Before commencing to provide such instruction, the applicant must certify the applicant’s competency and obtain an instructor permit by meeting one of the following requirements:
a. Hold a bachelor’s degree in a business-related subject, such as real estate, finance, accounting, business administration, or its equivalent and hold a valid broker’s license in this state.
b. Hold a bachelor’s degree, have extensive real estate experience, as defined by rule, and hold a valid broker’s license in this state.
c. Pass an instructor’s examination approved by the commission.
2. Any requirement by the commission for a teaching demonstration or practical examination must apply to all school instructor applicants.
3. The department shall renew an instructor permit upon receipt of a renewal application and fee. The renewal application shall include proof that the permitholder has, since the issuance or renewal of the current permit, successfully completed a minimum of 7 classroom hours of instruction in real estate subjects or instructional techniques, as prescribed by the commission. The commission shall adopt rules providing for the renewal of instructor permits at least every 2 years. Any permit which is not renewed at the end of the permit period established by the department shall automatically revert to involuntarily inactive status.
The department may require an applicant to submit names of persons having knowledge concerning the applicant and the enterprise; may propound interrogatories to such persons and to the applicant concerning the character of the applicant, including the taking of fingerprints for processing through the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and shall make such investigation of the applicant or the school or institution as it may deem necessary to the granting of the permit. If an objection is filed, it shall be considered in the same manner as objections or administrative complaints against other applicants for licensure by the department.
(3) It is unlawful for any person, school, or institution to offer the courses described in subsection (1) or to conduct classes in such courses, regardless of the number of pupils, whether by correspondence or otherwise, without first procuring a permit, or to guarantee that its pupils will pass any examinations required for licensure, or to represent that the issuance of a permit is any recommendation or endorsement of the person, school, or institution to which it is issued or of any course of instruction given thereunder.
(4) Any person who violates this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. (5) The location of classes and frequency of class meetings and the provision of distance learning courses shall be in the discretion of the school offering real estate courses, so long as such courses conform to s. 475.17(2). (6) Any course prescribed by the commission as a condition precedent to any person’s becoming initially licensed as a sales associate may be taught in any real estate school through the use of a video tape of instruction by a currently permitted instructor from any such school or may be taught by distance learning pursuant to s. 475.17(2). The commission may require that any such video tape course have a single session of live instruction by a currently permitted instructor from any such school; however, this requirement shall not exceed 3 classroom hours. All other prescribed courses, except the continuing education course required by s. 475.182, shall be taught by a currently permitted school instructor personally in attendance at such course or by distance learning pursuant to s. 475.17. The continuing education course required by s. 475.182 may be taught by distance learning pursuant to s. 475.17 or by an equivalent correspondence course; however, any such correspondence course shall be required to have a final examination, prepared and administered by the school issuing the correspondence course. The continuing education requirements provided in this chapter do not apply to an attorney who is otherwise qualified under this chapter and who is a member in good standing of The Florida Bar.
(7) A permitholder under this section may be issued additional permits whenever it is clearly shown that the requested additional permits are necessary to the conduct of the business of a real estate school and that the additional permits will not be used in a manner likely to be prejudicial to any person, including a licensee or a permitholder under this chapter.
(8) Beginning October 1, 2006, each person, school, or institution permitted under this section is required to keep registration records, course rosters, attendance records, a file copy of each examination and progress test, and all student answer sheets for a period of at least 3 years subsequent to the beginning of each course and make them available to the department for inspection and copying upon request.