Who Read It? - 27 East

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Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1564677

Who Read It?

How many people know that the entire rental world in the Hamptons has changed drastically thanks to our New York State legislators?

For 20 years, tenants’ rights groups have tried to get rental laws changed in Albany. Focus was primarily on the big cities in this regard. Today, with one party controlling both the Senate and Assembly, advocates finally have realized the dream of shifting power to the tenants.

For months, both houses worked on a bill. Then, at the last minute, in June, the two houses merged their “progressive” bills. Again at the last minute, they extended the bills to cover every county, not just big cities.

Did the legislators actually read this 30-page legislation that was “merged” by the two houses the day before the vote?

It’s called the Housing Shortage Act, I think. Ironic. Are we short on seasonal rentals? No — just year-round. And what will this do to year-round? Gone. Gone. Gone. And why are homes selling for less? Go figure.

Want to know the specifics? You should. If you rent your house and don’t follow the rules, you can be required to forfeit “double” one month’s rent. That can be huge. That can be life-changing.

And if you want the peace of mind that your property is “taken” for the summer, forget it. You can only collect one month of rental dollars as “security” up front. Nothing else. And “security” is not yours. Let’s say the tenant decides not to rent at the last minute. What happens to that security? You guessed it.

What if it is a July/August rental and, on July 1, you collect your “one month’s rent” (this is the earliest you can collect it, FYI). Are you all set? Well, not really. If a tenant has a problem and cannot move, you have a bigger problem. A six-month problem.

The devil is in the details. Check with your lawyer. And don’t forget to return the deposit in 14 days. Serious fines.

And now we are told that, thankfully, the powers that be will introduce legislation to remove two (just two) of the most egregious aspects of this law. (By the way, this legislative “help” cannot possibly be implemented until 2021.) This legislation will help us re-legalize our right to collect the entire summer rent in advance.

But this is not enough! The entire 30-page law should absolutely not apply to seasonal rentals. It was never intended to apply.

It is an insult to people who scrimp and save to invest their money in tangible assets, to have had this situation thrust upon them. (It’s not right for our friends in New York City, either.)

More needs to be done. Now.

Jenice Delano

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

Saunders & Associates

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