Poconos Coal

Woman sues Pa., says licensing laws killed her business

Woman sues Pa. over real estate...

TOBYHANNA, Pa. - It seems like a good way to make some extra money: helping people rent their vacation homes.

A woman who did just that in the Poconos is now locked in a lawsuit with the state of Pennsylvania.

A few years ago, Sally Ladd became skilled at renting her homes in the Poconos.

"People started approaching me and asking me if I would help them rent their properties," she told 69 News.

So she did, helping her clients market online, take photos, and arrange cleanings.

According to Ladd, the business took off.

"I was really starting to make enough money to make this a full time job," she said.

Her clients were reportedly happy with her work.

"Thrilled! We were thrilled," said Samantha Harris, who hired Ladd to manage her property rentals.

"As soon as we started working with her things really turned around for us," she told 69 News.

Eventually, Ladd was managing five properties. And then one day, she got a call from the state.

"The agent on the other end of the phone told me that someone had complained that I was practicing real estate without a license," she said. "It was like I got kicked in the stomach."

The business was illegal.

To help people rent vacation homes in the state of Pennsylvania, she needed a real estate license.

"He said he was conducting an investigation," she told 69 News. "It was really frightening to get that call."

To get a license, she'd need to take hundreds of hours of classes, pass tests, and work for an established broker for three years.

That all took time and money she couldn't afford.

Additionally, Ladd, who lives in New Jersey, would need to move to Pennsylvania.

"I've had to walk away from the business," she said. "It was half my income at the time."

Harris wants to pay Ladd for her work, licensed or not.

"If that had been important to us, that's what we would have sought out to begin with. What we were looking for was someone with a demonstrated history of success," she said.

The two women joined together with the Institute for Justice to sue the state of Pennsylvania.

Ladd says, she just wants reasonable rules.

"I'm not objecting to oversight. But it's overkill."The state of Pennsylvania declined to comment to 69 News.

This story was originally reported by Reason.com

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