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Web Wreaks Havoc on Hamptons' Vacation Rentals


According to an article in The New York Times a proliferation of online vacation rental properties in East Hampton is putting a dent into the earnings of local brokerage firms who were previously the only conduit to summer rentals. Online vacation rental sites such as Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO and even Craigslist are offering affordable stays in East Hampton for people who are priced out of seasonal or monthly rentals through brokers.

There is one caveat to this bonanza of available listings: many of them are illegal. The Town of East Hampton prohibits rentals of less than two weeks more than twice every six months. The author of the Times story reveals another pitfall: seasonal renters are sometimes looking to make back some of their costs by renting out their rentals for short stays—unbeknownst to their rightful owners of course.

Town of East Hampton Supervisor Larry Cantwell is interviewed. He ran on a platform that supported more rigorous code enforcement to protect property values and cut down on nuisance complaints from things like loud parties in share houses and more than four cars in residential driveways. The town has now hired Southampton’s former director of public safety, Dave Betts, to help quell the tide of illegal rentals and their attendant complaints on the town’s website

Read the entire article online at The New York Times



Bob West July 02, 2014 at 08:28 AM
I can't be sure, but it seems like a similar thing is happening here in the Long Beach area. I think the realtors have been a prime force in driving up rental prices. So, to put it crudely, payback is a b*tch. As for illegal rentals, I've got a feeling that in the past realtors' fees helped (pay to?) "buffer" actions against their illegals. Years ago a realtor rented me an illegal apartment here. There's a new rental on my block handled through a realtor. In the past, it felt like realtors would keep out groupers and party people, but not now. These guys are a loud pain in the butt, but always manage to narrowly stay within the law. I know in the past it was barely worth it for our local realtors to handle rentals, compared to the free for a sale. But now seasonal rentals in 11561 go for $30,000+. The rental listings on MLSLI are "breath-taking" but not in a good way. As for the "little guys" one of my neighbors in debt from Sandy has decided to rent out her (legal) apartment for just one month this summer. This re-built apartment is lovely, beyond compliance with codes. I hope the "housing police" can find the decency to leave these rentals in owner-occupied houses alone. Or at least pay some cursory visits to the mega-rental houses on the Bay, just to give the illusion that they play fair.
Bob West July 02, 2014 at 08:33 AM
I look forward to hearing responses from residents out at "ground zero" in the Hamptons. With the "no vacancy" signs going up on rentals out East, it seems like today's problems in the Hamptons will be tomorrow's problem in my poor-cousin beach town.
beth parks July 02, 2014 at 11:33 AM
My neighbor did this last year and what an awful summer we had! We filed suit and won against them so he was fined. We are watching very closely this year, crossing our fingers! We need to implement same law as Southampton asap.
BooBa July 02, 2014 at 05:02 PM
I live in Clearwater Beach (Springs) a full-time resident and it is out of control. People who have bought houses here within the past ten years are doing it. They are doing weekly and weekend rentals. Property management company's are involved.

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