As the summer rental season closes in, East End property owners need to be aware of a significant change in the law since last summer. In September 2021, the Governor signed a bill that amends the Tenant Protection Act of 2019 with the express goal of exempting East End summer rental properties from the Tenant Protection Act provisions in certain situations.

The Tenant Protection Act in its original form prohibited the full payment of rent up-front and would not allow for a security deposit that exceeded the amount of one-month’s rent, among other things.

The 2021 amendment attempted to reconcile the Tenant Protection Act with the long-standing East End practice of requiring all funds to be paid up-front for summer rentals. The amendment allows for up-front payment on rentals for a term not to exceed 120 days.

However, in order to qualify for exemption, the owner must register the property as a “seasonal use dwelling unit” with the local municipality and must file a copy of the lease with the local municipality that lists the tenant’s primary address.

As such, the East End towns and villages have been amending their local laws to allow for a seasonal rental registry. In East Hampton Town, for example, expected to take effect April 21, 2022, is a local law that requires the owner to provide the lease to the Building Department and obtain a rental registration number before the tenant’s occupancy begins. Other towns and villages are enacting similar laws.

Under the amendment, properties which do not register and comply with the local municipality’s process will be subject to the Tenant Protection Act provisions in full.

So please review the lease you use and call our office if you have any questions regarding the law or your local municipality’s registration process.

PLEASE NOTE that this article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship and the information within does not substitute for a consultation with an attorney.

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