MLS adds short-term rental feature in Sandy’s wake

Attempting to help evacuees, group asks for help maintaining, augmenting its database
By Guelda Voien | November 02, 2012 05:30PM

The New York State Multiple Listing Service is urging brokers and landlords to help augment its database of properties available for short-term rental. The request comes amid staggering demand from brokers and would-be tenants, following Hurricane Sandy, Dawn Pfaff, president of the New York State MLS, told The Real Deal.

“The phone has been rings off the hook with people absolutely desperate,” she said. “There is a woman who lost her home in Breezy Point, [Queens] and she has three kids and she has to be in the same school district. We’re in a position to get that information the fastest.”

This week, the state MLS — featuring residential and commercial property listings from throughout New York State — added a feature to its database whereby properties can be marked as available for short-term rental, A list of the properties is available to any member of the MLS when they log into their account and request it; non-members can request the list by emailing [email protected]

There is no charge for this service for members or non-members.

Pfaff also underscored that brokers, landlords and renters should work to keep information they have access to on the MLS up to date.

A state law prohibits letting an apartment for fewer than 30 days in most instances, but other efforts are underway to provide short-term housing despite the law. For instance, Prudential Douglas Elliman is in the process of “adding a short-term rental feature on our website to help storm victims in all the regions we service,” as The Real Deal reported yesterday.