Brokers and officials lament rise of Hamptons web rentals

Short-term rentals cut into lucrative broker fees and violate local regulations
June 30, 2014 06:30PM

Some Hamptons home owners are ruffling feathers by renting their properties through websites such as Airbnb and HomeAway, an uncommon practice until recently.

The entrepreneurs are not only crossing neighbors concerned about a revolving door of lodgers, they are breaking laws that limit short-term rentals, the New York Times reported. They are also putting a dent in the lucrative business of brokering one- or two-month summer rentals, which can go for six-figures.

Teresa Euell of Town & Country told the Times that brokerage’s Montauk office had seen almost no rentals this year, while Josh Keeshan estimated his brokerage business was 25 percent of what it was three months ago. Brokers have reported that bargains for Hamptons rentals are hard to find this year, giving landlords the upper hand.

Homeowners in East Hampton are only allowed to rent their properties for periods of less than two weeks twice every half a year, according to the Times. Rules also govern how many unrelated adults can occupy a home.

The town has taken measures to curb the illegal rentals, such as launching a website where residents can report violations, the Times reported. [NYT]Tom DiChristopher