Due to an increase in the number of rental law violations, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said the town is considering establishing a $100 surcharge in Justice Court for property owners convicted of violations of the rental permit law.
“We have a lot of violations of our rental law,” he said at a recent work session, referring to landlords who have too many tenants, lack rental permits or whose properties have failed inspections. He added, “It’s very limited, in terms of the penalties that people are paying.”
Assistant Town Attorney Kara Bak has drafted proposed legislation and noted in it that the funds generated by the surcharge would be deposited in the Community Housing Opportunity Fund. The money would go toward producing affordable housing, rehabilitating existing housing, offering no-interest or low-interest loans for first-time home buyers, and housing counseling services, according to town documents.
The supervisor noted that the legislation could generate as much as $10,000 a year for the fund. “It’s not a lot, but it’s something,” he added.
The draft legislation would change a portion of the town code to allow the $100 surcharge in addition to fines already in place for convictions of rental law violations, and it would allow that money to be used to promote affordable housing throughout the town.
Mr. Schneiderman said the legislation would most likely go into effect as part of the town’s next budget, or possibly sooner.
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