Report Illegal Rentals - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2077268

Report Illegal Rentals

I would like to respond to Brett Shevack’s letter regarding illegal rentals [“Time Bomb,” Letters, February 9].

I will skip some of the horrific details, other than to say that an illegal Airbnb sprung up at the end of our block. This house was a foreclosure purchased at auction by a corporation with no ties to the community.

Shoddy renovations took place over a period of two months. I understand that you do not need a building permit if renovations are in the house proper. Perhaps that should be changed.

About two weeks after the end of the renovation, large numbers of people arrived on the weekends, with five or six cars parked in the driveway and many in the street. After the weekend, garbage was left on the street in plastic bags, which were torn apart by raccoons. The electric meters were tampered with.

We looked on Airbnb and easily found the listing for the house, noting several additional bedrooms than were originally permitted when the house was built and with a capacity of almost three times what was legal.

We immediately went online and reported it to Code Enforcement. There is a place on the Southampton Town website to do so. You can report it leaving your contact number or anonymously. You get a case number. A few days later, we checked the website to see that a violation had been issued — but the weekend rentals continued.

There was a story in The Southampton Press on illegal rentals, citing the danger and mentioning once again the death of those two young women in an unregistered rental. Ryan Murphy, public safety and emergency management administrator, was quoted in the article, so we wrote him a letter detailing all the issues about the illegal rental over and above just being illegal.

The rentals stopped, and just this week an inspector from Code Enforcement was here to inspect the property.

Of course, summer is not here yet, so we don’t know if the issue has been resolved. The town does not have sufficient personnel to address all the illegal rentals.

If you suspect an illegal rental, you need to go online and report it. If that does not stop the illegal activity, write to Mr. Murphy, giving him as much information as possible about the property. With that information, he can do his job.

Summer is coming, and the number of illegal rentals will increase unless they are reported to Code Enforcement. Using the tool present on the Code Enforcement section of the Southampton Town website to report illegal rentals, Mr. Murphy and his overworked staff can try to get them under control.

J.B. Morgan

Hampton Bays