The Hamptons – before and after.

As we continue to investigate communities that have tried to strike a balance between the rising impact of short-term rentals and quality of life for residents, it’s hard to ignore a fellow getaway destination: The Hamptons.

In East Hampton, residents had concerns that short-term rentals were disrupting residential neighborhoods, and that tenants and guests weren’t all staying in safe conditions. They also believed the focus on short-short-term rentals was leading to more and more transient visitors with no attachment to the community. In 2016, the town introduced two significant changes: a Rental Registry and a 14-day minimum stay.

Some realtors worried the minimum stay requirement would slow the demand for vacation rentals. They were proved wrong. The following summer, real estate market leaders acknowledged that rentals were in line with the previous year. They also found there were fewer complaints of big parties and neighborhood disruption.

COVID changed everything. One realtor we connected with said his phone is ringing off the hook with people wishing to leave the city, looking for month-long and seasonal rentals. Of course, the Hamptons are attractive, given their proximity to New York City. But we wonder, did the transition to a 14-day minimum establish a clientele with an appetite towards renting even longer?

Town Councilwoman of East Hampton, Sylvia Overby, says the short-term rental ordinance was created to discourage a house from “becoming a business in the center of a neighborhood.” The goal is to encourage longer-term renters, with the thought these renters could someday “become part of the community.”

Like most of the communities we encounter, the rules are much different for residents who rent part of their home. In East Hampton, that means non-resident owners must register their rental whether they rent for two weeks, by the month, or for the year. The focus is on safety. 

Generally speaking, communities are more lenient towards local homeowners who make ends meet by renting a room or a garage apartment. We’ll go into more detail next week.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Julia Lindner
Executive Director

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *