NY rent law throws shade on Hamptons summer leases

With upfront payment banned, some owners are forsaking rentals, cashing out

Feb.February 28, 2020 01:15 PM
Compass agent Victoria Shtainer and Sotheby’s agent Frank Bodenchak (Credit: iStock, Compass, Bodenchak Team)

Compass agent Victoria Shtainer and Sotheby’s agent Frank Bodenchak (Credit: iStock, Compass, Bodenchak Team)

New York’s pro-tenant rent law is wreaking havoc on a Hamptons institution: the summer rental.

The sweeping law, passed in June, prohibits landlords from collecting more than one month’s rent upfront. That’s thrown a wrinkle into the summer plans of Hamptons homeowners, who typically rent their beach- and poolside properties in three-month blocs.

“The issue is you can get stuck with a tenant who pays for June, and once August comes around, doesn’t pay,” Frank Bodenchak, an agent at Sotheby’s International Realty, told Bloomberg.

Rent generated over the summer could be worth as much — or more — than the rest of the year. “You can’t rent these things last-minute,” Bodenchak said.

For instance, the owner of a 10,000-square-foot house in Sagaponack is asking $790,000 for Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

Local brokers are asking state lawmakers to exempt several-month rentals. A bill has been introduced in Albany, where the legislative session is underway but ends in early June this year because of the primary election later that month.

In the meantime, Compass agent Victoria Shtainer, who owns a house in the Hamptons, recently listed it for $9 million. “I cannot rent it the way I used to,” she said.
[Bloomberg] — E.B. Solomont

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