East Hampton Town lawmakers this week brought forward a trimmed down version of a rental registry law that was excoriated by residents last winter and will present it for a new public hearing next month.
The new version of the law drops requirements for certification inspections of property and slims the application process. Landlords would also not need updated certificates of occupancy but would have to submit whatever most recent C/O they have.
All five Town Board members have said in recent weeks that complaints from residents, particularly from Montauk this past summer, have convinced them that some form of rental registry is needed to help town ordinance enforcement officers crack down on illegal rentals.
The proposed new law would require that any homeowner wishing to rent out their house to submit a 2-page application form listing the property owner’s name and contact information and the number of bedrooms in the house. Whenever the house is rented thereafter, they must fill out a second 2-page form stating the number of tenants and the length of the rental terms. Tenant names would not be required.
With the initial application, the homeowner would have to certify, personally or through a licensed architect, that the house meets state property maintenance codes. The certification form asks 22 questions about safety features at the house, ranging from smoke detectors and staircase hand rails to whether there are self-closing pool gates and alarms on any doors leading to pool areas. The certification form would be filed with the town Building Department, but there would be no follow-up inspection of the property.
The fee for registering a house under the new proposal would be $250 for two years, with an additional $25 fee each time a new tenant is to occupy the house. Any advertisements, online or in print, for a property for rent in East Hampton Town would have to include a town rental registry number.
“There’s been a lot of changes made pursuant to the previous concerns the public had,” Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc said at a work session on Tuesday.
The board will discuss the new law at its work session next Tuesday in Montauk and expects to schedule a public hearing on the law for November. Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez suggested that the hearing be held in a special venue to accommodate a large crowd and that the hearing be the only thing on the board’s agenda for that date.