Log In   ·   Become A Member

Hamptons Rentals: Landlords, Tenants, & Property Managers Get It In Writing

John A. Viteritti

Lavishly landscaped grounds with outdoor dining for 12 and fireplace around 20x40 heated pool and 10x10 heated Jacuzzi make this East Hampton Village rental perfect for entertaining throughout the summer season. Listed for rent with HamptonsRentals.com. (Courtesy Photo)

Rentals represent a major portion of the real estate activity on the East End of Long Island, both the North and South Forks. This is the first of a series of articles. We will share comments of realtors regarding location, price, amenities, including seasonal, short-term, and long-term rentals, but first, we think it is important to clarify some basics regarding landlord tenant relationships.

First, it should be noted that the Town of Southampton requires a rental permit in the unincorporated areas of the Town. Both landlords and tenants, as well as property managers, may be penalized for violations of this law. Rentals of fewer than fourteen days are prohibited, and the occupants must meet the definition of "traditional family." Anyone interested in renting should consult the Town of Southampton before proceeding.

The Towns and Villages throughout the East End have laws to prevent overcrowding, the number of individuals who may occupy in order to assure the health and safety of the occupants.

Federal, State, and Local Fair Housing Laws protect groups of people who have suffered a history of discrimination. Suffolk County is among local governments that have some of the most stringent protections. Included among them is the refusal to rent to families with children. This violates, federal, state, and local laws.

I have seen a so-called "standard form of lease" that states, "only the tents named on the lease may occupy the premises." New York Law requires that each tenant must be permitted to have one person not named on the lease occupy the unit with them, not to exceed the number of people who may lawfully occupy.

There are often misunderstandings regarding issues such as when the rent is due - the end of the month, unless the lease states otherwise. Rules regarding sub-leasing and assignment - either may be done unless prohibited by the lease, and sometimes, not even then.

Another common misunderstanding is with respect to Security Deposits. New York Law governs Security Deposits. The landlord must deposit these funds in an escrow account, and the funds are the property of the tenant, not the landlord, and must be refunded to the tenant within a reasonable time after the expiration of the lease except for damage to the landlord's property caused by the tenant, other than normal wear and tear.

It is not uncommon for landlords and tenants to presume that absent a written lease there is no lease. This is not true. In fact, under New York Law, a lease for a year or less entered into orally by a landlord and tenant is binding, although it is prudent to have all agreements in writing.

What about a tenant who wishes to vacate before the lease expires? Are they still obligated to pay rent through the end of the lease? They are, unless there is an agreement between the landlord and the tenant stating otherwise.

Federal Law requires that landlords of properties constructed prior to 1978 for sale or rental, disclose to the buyer or tenant information regarding lead. The Environmental Protection Agency imposes penalties for non-compliance against landlords and their agents. Rentals of fewer than 100 days, studio, single bedroom, loft apartments and housing designed exclusively for residents 62 years or older and housing already to be certified as "lead-free" are exempt.

Many leases include the tenant's right to renew the lease. Some may give the tenant the right to purchase the property, similar, but not the same as a right of first refusal. Each of these should be considered only after seeking legal counsel.

The process of eviction is another matter that should only be pursued after seeking legal counsel. If carried out improperly, the consequences may be very costly for the landlord. When the tenant violates the lease, the landlord is seeking an actual eviction. When the landlord violates the lease rendering the premises wholly or partially uninhabitable, it may result in a constructive eviction. All leases contain what is known as a warranty of habitability - the obligation of the landlord to maintain the property in a healthy and safe manner.

Insurance is another matter. A landlord who wishes to rent, should consult and insurance professional before doing so. If a fire occurs on the premises due to an accident caused by the tenant, who is responsible? What about the tenant's personal property?

These are only some of the issues with respect to landlord tenant relations. Each could be expanded upon.

In our next article, we will hear from realtors who represent landlords and tenants.

John is a St. John's University graduate, licensed Real Estate broker, lecturer, teaches real estate license classes at LIU, NYU, and Cook Maran Real Estate School, and is a well-respected consultant to the real estate industry. www.johnaviteritti.com

Be the first to comment on this article. (Just fill out the form below)

Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
What color is the sky?
(For spam prevention, thanks)
Gary R. DePersia, Corcoran Real Estate
With over $2 billion in transactions, Gary DePersia is consistently ranked among the top producers in the Hamptons. A year-on-year member of The Corcoran Group President’s Council, he has qualified as a national list maker since 2007. In the 2016 REAL Trends & The Wall Street Journal list of America’s top real estate professionals, he was designated #22 nationally and #5 in the Hamptons by volume with nearly $200 million of transactions for the past year.

East End Tick Control
The East End's only New York State licensed dedicated tick and mosquito control specialists!

Bridgehampton National Bank
For over 100 years Bridgehampton National Bank has been the East End's hometown bank. Many success stories...one bank, BNB!

Advertise on Hamptons.com - Have your business be seen by over 2 million viewers including NEW searches
Hamptons.com- Our exclusive online magazine has 2.6 million Page Views YTD for 2015. Contact us to join our elite group of clients that benefit from having a presence on the Hamptons award winning publication www.Hamptons.com

Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home
We pay less,and so do you.With over 1,000 stores in our buying group, we can get the lowest prices from the best flooring manufacturers — and pass the savings on to you.Visit our other locations: Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home, 675 North Sea Road,Southampton, NY 11968

Southampton Masonry-Visiting the Southampton or the Wainscott locations is an exciting experience.
Southampton Masonry has been serving Long Island's masonry and tile needs since 1975. Delivering quality products from Manhattan to Montauk for over three decades. The company's continued success is due primarily to their number one priority: customer satisfaction, with a promise of prompt and courteous service from the professional, knowledgeable staff. Southampton Masonry has the largest inventory on the east end. As direct importers they can offer a large variety of the finest quality products at the most competitive pricing for both your interior and exterior projects.

Hampton Coffee Company is dedicated to making sure you have the best possible experience with our brand, whether you visit one of our cafés, our Mobile Unit, one of our wholesale partners, order through our website, or purchase our coffee on the supermark
We strongly believe that one of the most important parts of being a successful business in the community is truly becoming a part of it. Hampton Coffee Company is proud to support more than 100 different local charities, schools, and organizations each and every year. It is our pleasure to participate in events that are important to our staff and our customers.

RJD Gallery specializes in contemporary art with a focus on Magical, Figurative Realism, Narrative Portraiture and Urban Landscape.
We exhibit representational artists from around the world, who produce fine art of exceptional quality that challenge collectors to contemplate concepts about the artist, themselves, and our human experience. Utilizing timeless techniques in creating their drawings, paintings and sculptures, our artists have developed unique, signature styles that present a current vision of our world.