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  • 15 Hour(s) Pre-License Education
Residential Leasing Agent Pre-License Course —  Self-Study

Course Highlights

Self-Study Icon  Self-Study

It's a great time to start a career as a residential leasing agent! You can earn this entry-level real estate license in very little time, making it a great starting point for your real estate career.

We'll provide you with our exclusive course book and five homework assignments (one for each chapter). Along the way, you're encouraged to contact our state-licensed instructor team, who are here to answer your questions and provide the extra help if/when you need it. After successfully completing the required homework assignments, you'll be ready for the final exam. This comprehensive program will prepare you to pass the state exam.

  • Self-study course
  • Complete anywhere, anytime
  • Includes our exclusive textbook, homework assignments, and instructor support
  • No hidden fees

About This Course

Our 15-credit-hour course satisfies the entire education requirement to obtain an Illinois residential leasing agent license.

This self-study course is perfect for those who:

  • Want to obtain their leasing agent license as quickly as possible without attending any classroom sessions
  • Work well independently, but aren't afraid to ask for help if/when needed.
  • Are focused and can dedicate time in their schedule to complete five required homework assignments. Most students complete the course in 1-2 weeks.

This course includes:

  • Exclusive Textbook / Course Materials: All your course materials are included in the tuition. You will receive access to both a digital and hardcopy of our exclusive textbook, only available through Real Estate Institute. This course follows our easy-to-read book, that is designed just for leasing agent license preparation. We also provide quizzes and supplemental materials online. No hidden fees.
  • Instructor Support: One of the most valuable features of this course is our team of instructors, who are available to answer your questions. We understand that you may have questions or want more examples about a particular subject. Our instructors are here to help! You are encouraged to take advantage of our expert guidance during the course and before you attempt the state exam.
  • Exam Prep: You will have access to our online assessment system, where you will complete your assignments.  Each lesson quiz is graded instantly and provides you an opportunity to review your results for each question. This helps you to know where to focus your time and attention or call for help if needed.

Our experienced instructors and customer service representatives set us apart from the competition. We are here to help you every step of the way. 


All residential leasing agent licensees must work under the supervision of a managing broker. The state requires that you:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age
  2. Hold a high school diploma or GED equivalent
  3. Have a sponsoring managing broker or firm
  4. Successfully complete a state-approved 15 credit-hour residential leasing agent pre-license course
  5. Pass a state exam
Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about this license type and programs:

View FAQs
IL Real Estate Pre-License

Is Real Estate Institute approved by the IDFPR as a pre-license school?

Yes. Real Estate Institute is approved by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Education Provider #515.000001. We offer courses that are required as prerequisites for the Leasing Agent, Broker, and Managing Broker licensing examinations.

What makes your school different from the others?

Our quality programs, dedicated and knowledgeable instructors, and outstanding service set our school apart. When you successfully complete our course, you will have all the knowledge you need to pass the state examination. Quizzes for each homework lesson allow students to see how they are doing as they progress through the course. Along with the reinforcing tools included with our programs, qualified instructors are available to provide additional assistance.

Real Estate Institute offers students all these additional resources for one simple reason: we want you to pass the state examination!

What's the best way to determine which real estate license I should consider?

We recommend that you review our license comparison. We have designed well organized, high quality programs for each Illinois real estate license type. Please see additional FAQs for each license type.

Does your school offer financial aid or can I pay the course tuition over time?

We have partnered with Affirm, who offers financing options that enable our students to enroll today and pay later. This extends our traditional payment options, such as credit/debit cards and cash.

Click here to learn more.

Is Real Estate Institute owned by a real estate brokerage company?

No. We are an independent school, licensed and approved by the State, as is our coursework. We are not here to recruit you into the real estate business. We are here to help students obtain or meet their real estate education requirements.

Must I be a citizen of the United States or Illinois to hold a Real Estate License in Illinois?

No. To hold an Illinois real estate license, the state requires that you meet the age and education requirements, have a Social security number, and be of good moral character.

Where can I find more information about Illinois real estate licensing?

You will find a wealth of information throughout our website and frequently asked questions. Additional information may be available directly at Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation's website.

Does Illinois offer license reciprocity with any other states?

Illinois offers reciprocity if you are already licensed in some other states. Please view these details at the IDFPR website and contact the IDFPR to discuss your specific licensing requirements. IDFPR-approved coursework and examinations may still be required for you to earn a license in Illinois.

IL Real Estate Pre-License - Residential Leasing Agent

Who is required to hold a Residential Leasing Agent License?

Anyone not licensed as a Broker or Managing Broker who is performing leasing activities for a person or entity other than the owner of the property.

What are the State's requirements for me to become a Residential Leasing Agent?

State law requires that the applicant must:

    • Be at least 18 years old
    • Hold a high school diploma or equivalent
    • Complete a 15-credit-hour state-approved pre-license program
    • Pass the state license exam
    • Have a Sponsoring Broker

What are to be considered leasing activities?

Leasing activities include:

  1. Leasing or renting residential property
  2. Collecting rent for the use of residential property, and
  3. Attempting, offering, or negotiating to rent, lease, or collect rent for the use of residential property.

Can I lease commercial property with a Residential Leasing Agent license?

No, the Residential Leasing Agent license only involves residential activities.  To lease commercial property, you must obtain a Real Estate Broker license.  You can find more information regarding our Broker Pre-License programs here.

If I am already employed, do I need to register for a Residential Leasing Agent license course?

Yes, if you are acting in a capacity that requires you to be licensed. To comply with current law, any agent required to hold a license should immediately register as a student and begin pursuing the process of obtaining a license.

Does Real Estate Institute offer a state-approved pre-license course for Residential Leasing Agents?

Yes, our state-approved programs are specifically designed for individuals seeking to become licensed residential leasing agents in Illinois.

What will I learn in the Leasing Agent licensing course?

You will learn about real estate license law, fair housing, and contract law as applied to leases. 

Most importantly, our goal is to prepare you for the course final exam and the state final exam.

Can I get a Real Estate Broker License instead of getting a Residential Leasing Agent License?

Yes. The Real Estate Broker License also allows leasing activities, so you will still be in compliance with Illinois license law if you choose to obtain a Broker license rather than a Leasing Agent license.  You can find more information on our Broker programs here.

If I already have a Real Estate Broker License, do I need to get a Residential Leasing Agent license?

No, a Broker license allows you to act as a leasing agent.

Can I complete all the coursework online via self-study?

Yes, we do offer a leasing agent pre-license course that may be completed entirely through self-study. You would be required to go in-person for the course final exam.  Learn more about our self-study course.

I tend to learn better in a structured, classroom environment. Do you offer a live programs for the Residential Leasing Agent Pre-License requirement?

Yes. We offer two convenient programs to meet your individual learning needs. You can satisfy your entire 15 credit-hour Illinois pre-license education requirement by completing our self-study or two-day class or webinar.

Click here to learn more about both options

Do your courses include instructor support?

Yes. This is an area where our school really stands out. Students in our real estate pre-license programs are strongly encouraged to call for one-on-one instructor assistance throughout the program. This one-on-one support is available to all students, including those who attend our classroom programs. We're committed to each student's success!

How long do students typically take to complete the Residential Leasing Agent licensing course?

It’s typical for students to successfully complete our self-study course in two weeks or less. Students who attend our classroom program will finish in two days.  Students who attend our webinar program will complete the live online classes in two days, but will then make an appointment to schedule the course final exam.

Where can I take my course final exam?

Self-Study & Webinar Programs

For students who reside in the Chicagoland area, we offer testing at our school locations. Testing is scheduled by appointment only. Real Estate Institute also works with a network of proctors outside the Chicagoland area (mostly libraries and universities) that can administer your final exam on our behalf. We can accommodate students throughout the country. Please call our school for more information.

Classroom Program

The exam will be administered at the end of the second day of class unless otherwise noted.

How many questions is on the course final exam?

The course final exam is 50 questions, multiple choice.

What is the passing score for the course final exam?

The passing score is 75%.  If you score less than 75%, but higher than 60% on your first final examination, you will be permitted two additional attempts. 

Before attempting an alternate examination, you must complete any additional study assigned by an instructor.  You will only be permitted three attempts to pass the final examination.  If you do not pass the final examination on your third attempt, you will fail the course.

If you receive a score of 60% or lower on any of your exam attempts, you will fail the course.  


What happens after I pass my course final exam with Real Estate Institute?

After you pass our pre-license course final exam, you will be issued a transcript that authorizes you to attempt the state examination. The state examination is offered daily at locations throughout the state. We will provide detailed information regarding the state exam upon you successful course completion.

Do course registrations expire?

All courses expire six months after the date of enrollment. In some cases, expired pre-license course enrollments may be extended for a fee within a year of original enrollment. Courses cannot be extended beyond the 1-year anniversary of the original enrollment.

What properties (firms) must hold a real estate license and are required to employ licensed agents?

Any individual or firm engaged in leasing activities for properties in which it does not have an ownership interest, must hold a broker’s license. All active owners, partners, or officers, must hold broker’s licenses. All employees conducting any leasing activities must hold some type of real estate license (Leasing Agent, Broker, or Managing Broker).

Is it possible to be exempt from the state rules governing leasing agent licensing?

Yes, under Illinois law the following individuals are exempt:

  1. Those employed directly by the property owner.
  2. Those employed by an entity owned by the property owner.
  3. Leasing agents living at the property they are leasing, and are acting as residential manager.

What is the company required to do when hiring a new employee who will work as a Residential Leasing Agent?

The company must file a 120-day Leasing Agent Permit/Application with the IDFPR for the new employee. A copy of this document is available at the IDFPR website.

Do I need to be sponsored by a company or Managing Broker in order to start a course, take the examination, or obtain a license?

A sponsoring Broker is not required until after you have passed the state exam, but before you apply for the license. Leasing Agent and Broker licensees must have a Managing Broker sponsor to activate their license. A Managing Broker licensee may sponsor him or herself or may be sponsored by another Managing Broker.

Real Estate Institute is approved by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
Education Provider #515.000001