Montana Administrative Register Notice 24-210-42 No. 13   07/16/2015    
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In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.210.625 inactive to active license status, 24.210.661 and 24.210.829 new licensee mandatory continuing education, 24.210.667 continuing real estate education, 24.210.826 inactive to active status - property management, and 24.210.835 continuing property management education












TO: All Concerned Persons


          1. On April 30, 2015, the Board of Realty Regulation (board) published MAR Notice No. 24-210-42 regarding the proposed amendment of the above-stated rules, at page 416 of the 2015 Montana Administrative Register, Issue No. 8.


          2. The board has thoroughly considered the comments received. A summary of the comments and the board responses are as follows:


COMMENT 1: One commenter was concerned about changes to ARM 24.210.667, noting that (5) requires licensees to obtain required continuing education (CE) in topic areas the board identifies by August 1 of each year. The commenter stated that educators would have only between August and October to prepare training subjects that the board requires. The commenter noted that it would be difficult or impossible for an educator to prepare on such a tight schedule and wished to know in advance which subjects were going to be required.


RESPONSE 1: The board appreciates all comments received in the rulemaking process. However, the board notes that the provision on identifying topics by August 1 of each year exists as (7) in the current rule, and is only being renumbered to (5). The only proposed change is to delete the requirement that four hours of education must be "mandatory" education.

          The board cannot lawfully make the changes as suggested by the commenter, as no changes were proposed to that language in the initial rule proposal. To change language now would exceed what was originally proposed for public comment in the proposal notice.


COMMENT 2: One commenter opposed amending ARM 24.210.829(1) to require that new property manager licensees take 12 hours of property management education. The commenter stated that it is unclear what would qualify as "property management" education, since some courses currently designed for property managers may be approved under a different topic. The commenter further stated that requiring designated "property management" education for new licensees will be more cumbersome than current requirements and may cause some currently compliant licensees to be out of compliance.


RESPONSE 2: The board appreciates all comments made in the rulemaking process. The board is currently in the process of clarifying and identifying with an asterisk those courses on the board's web site which are property management eligible and will be considered property management courses in addition to regular licensee courses.


COMMENT 3: One commenter supported the proposed changes, but recommended that the designations of courses as being either "mandatory" or "elective" be effective on November 1, rather than in the middle of the year. The commenter believed this would avoid confusion to licensees, instructors, and providers, and suggested delaying the amendment to assist the department in modifying the online program that tracks rosters of CE credits.


RESPONSE 3: The board concluded that it will cause more confusion among licensees if the implementation date is delayed, and is proceeding with the intent to make the change effective for this licensing year.


COMMENT 4:  One commenter was concerned with licensees' ability to meet the rookie course requirement when there are no courses scheduled for 2015, and asked if there would be a waiver of the rookie course requirement for this license year. Noting that the board's web site still shows the 2014 rookie course schedule, the commenter suggested the board remove the 2014 schedule and instead post updated information.


RESPONSE 4: The department has removed the 2014 course schedule from the web site as suggested. The board will take other concerns under advisement and discuss them at a future meeting.  The rookie course will not be waived. It is scheduled five times this licensing year and has been posted to the web site.


COMMENT 5: One commenter noted that the board had made motions at the July 8, 2014, meeting to amend ARM 24.210.666(4) and 24.210.834(4), but such changes were not part of this rule notice. The commenter asked if this was an oversight.


RESPONSE 5:  The board never intended to include the rule amendments in this rule project, but proceeded with them in MAR Notice No. 24-210-41, an earlier rule package. In MAR Notice No. 24-210-41, the board had proposed changes to ARM 24.210.666 and 24.210.834, as well as other rules. However, due to public comments, the board decided at the July 10, 2014, meeting to not proceed with any of the changes.


COMMENT 6:  Several dozen commenters supported the rule package, particularly the repeal of the annual core course requirement. Additionally, the commenters supported the board's elimination of designating courses as either "mandatory" or "elective."


RESPONSE 6: The board appreciates all comments made in the rulemaking process, and is proceeding with the changes as proposed.


          3. The board has amended ARM 24.210.625, 24.210.661, 24.210.667, 24.210.826, 24.210.829, and 24.210.835 exactly as proposed.



                                                          BOARD OF REALTY REGULATION




/s/ DARCEE L. MOE                           /s/ PAM BUCY

Darcee L. Moe                                    Pam Bucy, Commissioner

Rule Reviewer                                    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY



          Certified to the Secretary of State July 6, 2015


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