East Hampton to let landlords collect summer rent upfront

Caveats include disclosures about renter identity, length of term

Assembly member Fred Thiele (nyassembly.gov, iStock)
Assembly member Fred Thiele (nyassembly.gov, iStock)

East Hampton homeowners who want to collect summer rent from tenants upfront should be prepared to share some key details on who is coming to town.

East Hampton is creating an additional category for its rental registry for seasonal renters, 27East reported. The category will allow landlords to bypass a 2019 state law which banned landlords from requiring more than one month’s rent to be paid in advance.

The state law was intended to prevent working-class urban renters from being forced to pay huge sums to move in, but conflicted with traditional summer rental practices in the Hamptons, where wealthy families often rent a home from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Hamptons Assembly member Fred Thiele led the charge for clarifying legislation permitting rentals up to 120 days to avoid the one-month rule. The change spares landlords from collection problems that seemed to be exacerbated by the 2020 and 2021 eviction moratoriums.

The short-term allowance comes with some significant caveats.

The town’s rental registry requirement, which dates back to 2016, required landlords to simply tell the town’s building department when a tenant moved in. The new requirements include providing rental agreements with information about the length of tenancy, the identity of the tenants and proof they have a permanent residence, according to 27East.

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“Wow, that’s a lot more paperwork,” Council member Kathee Burke-Gonzalez said. Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said, per 27East, that the new requirements would make it harder for high-profile renters to stay anonymous.

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East Hampton adopted a rental registry to “balance the needs of property owners with the needs of the community to preserve the quality of life” in residential neighborhoods. The registry was aimed at addressing concerns such as overcrowded houses, wild parties and unsafe conditions. Presumably, knowing the identities of tenants would assist local authorities in holding people who throw loud bashes accountable.

Summer rentals are big business in the Hamptons.

The area notched 16,645 bookings from Memorial Day to Labor Day, totaling $117 million, according to a report by StayMarquis, which included all bookings made on Airbnb and VRBO. The number of bookings during the high season was up 9 percent from the previous year.

[27East] — Holden Walter-Warner

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