Sag Harbor imposes rental registry

Homeowners wanting to rent property for more than two weeks must apply

Sag Harbor Imposes Rental Registry
A photo illustration of Sag Harbor Village Mayor Thomas Gardella (Getty, Village of Sag Harbor New York, Douglas Elliman)

Sag Harbor added another obstacle for homeowners looking to rent out their pads, citing safety concerns.

The Sag Harbor Village Board amended its seasonal-use dwelling-unit law this week, instituting a rental registry, the East Hampton Star reported. The requirement of a rental registry permit for local homeowners kicks in at the start of the new year.

Several municipalities in the Hamptons and North Fork have been curbing short-term rentals in their communities, largely for reasons that have to do with how Airbnbs and VRBOs supposedly impact home prices, hotel business or community character.

The village board had another concern, however, linking the changes to the fatal fire in Noyac last summer. The homeowners allegedly had dozens of violations, including illegal renovations and alterations.

Sag Harbor will require someone — homeowner, architect, engineer, home inspector — to sign off on a 12-item checklist. Requirements on the list include smoke detectors in every bedroom and common area, carbon dioxide detectors on each floor and rules about electric outlets and pool areas.

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Rental owners will also need to register their homes if they plan to rent them out for more than two weeks; it’s already illegal to rent out homes in the village for fewer than 14 days. The registry will include the homeowner’s name, the address and a copy of the lease.

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While the legislation passed with unanimous support, some residents complained that the amendment didn’t deal with the root issue of short-term rentals in the village.

“You need to cut off the head of the snake, and it’s with these two organizations,” one resident told the board, referring to Airbnb and VRBO. The village attorney responded that the companies are required to adhere to the village’s law, but that the village has no control over what the companies ultimately do.

Holden Walter-Warner

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