Doesn't Apply Here - 27 East

Letters

Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1679611

Doesn’t Apply Here

Landlords on the East End need to carefully follow the law enacted by the State Legislature in June 2019: the “Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act.” Or they could face massive fines.

I am learning that our State Legislature depends on the courts to interpret its laws, so apparently we will need a court case on questionable practices, like collecting summer rent in advance, before the courts rule that this state law should not apply to short-term vacation rentals at all.

You might wonder how I can make this preposterous legal assertion? Quite simply, I have read the law at “newyorkstate.gov,” and I know that the courts will give significance to “Part D” of the law.

Here is a quotation from “Part D,” except that I added the “(1)” and “(2)”:

“The legislature therefore declares that in order to prevent uncertainty, potential hardship and dislocation of (1) tenants living in housing accommodations subject to government regulations as to rentals and continued occupancy as well as (2) those not subject to such regulation, the provisions of this act are necessary to protect the public health, safety and general welfare. The necessity in the public interest for the provisions hereinafter enacted is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination.”

Now I will leave out “Part 1” of the above. Again, please read this exact quotation:

“The legislature therefore declares that in order to prevent uncertainty, potential hardship and dislocation of … those not subject to such regulation, the provisions of this act are necessary to protect the public health, safety and general welfare. The necessity in the public interest for the provisions hereinafter enacted is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination.”

I want to ask our legislators, many of whom are lawyers: Doesn’t this section effectively remove summer rentals from the purview of this law? Our East End tenants would be needing the protections of this law to “prevent uncertainty, potential hardship and dislocation” in order for this law to be applicable.

If any legislator believes this silly idea to be the case, I would assert that 99.9 percent of East End summer tenants are not at risk of any sorts of hardship or dislocation. Therefore, our rentals clearly are not part of this law.

And if I, as a landlord, find that it is necessary to collect summer rents in advance of the tenant moving in, I just might find myself in court, testing this law. It’s a shame.

East End landlords are not diversified in the way that landlords of big buildings are, and therefore they are entirely at risk of losing income that is massively important to real estate market values, and to their own livelihoods.

Jenice Delano

Bridgehampton

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