Southampton Village allows owners to collect summer’s rent upfront

Measure avoids unintended consequence of state law intended to help the poor

Southampton Village mayor Jesse Warren (Getty Images, iStock, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)
Southampton Village mayor Jesse Warren (Getty Images, iStock, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)

Another Hamptons locale has passed a rental registry law ahead of the summer season.

Southampton Village adopted its law last week, 27East reported, just before peak season begins in the Hamptons. The village is one of several to adopt a similar registry rule to get around a provision in the state’s ​​Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act that banned owners from collecting more than one month’s rent in advance.

The state law was designed to spare working-class renters from having to pay huge sums to move in. It had an unintended effect of disrupting traditional summer rental practices in the Hamptons, where families often pay upfront to rent from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

The village’s rental registry, which is optional, allows landlords to collect the full summer’s rent at the outset if they register with the building department. Landlords wanting advance payment need to provide their names and mailing addresses, a copy of the lease, the names of the tenants and period of occupancy.

Financial information regarding the lease can be redacted. The cost of the registry fee hasn’t been decided.

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The law was not passed unanimously, as some village officials feared the paperwork would add to a backlog at the building department.

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Mayor Jesse Warren described the rules as being less heavy-handed than those passed in other municipalities, such as Southampton Town and East Hampton. The East Hampton rules also require the identity of the tenants and how long they are staying. In addition, owners must submit proof of permanent residence.

Hamptons owners are seeking record rents this season, more than $1 million per month in some cases. There is sentiment, however, that they will have to be more flexible on pricing this year as travelers have more international locations available following last year’s pandemic closures.

Last summer, there were 16,645 Hamptons bookings from Memorial Day to Labor Day, totaling $117 million, according to StayMarquis. That was a 9 percent jump from the previous year.

[27East] — Holden Walter-Warner