What You Need To Know Before You Rent In The Hamptons This Summer
Originally Posted: May 07, 2012
The lap of luxury is for rent. This property available through HamptonsRentals.com is located in Bridgehampton and rents for $290,000 from July to Labor Day. (Courtesy Photo)
Southampton - We are embarking upon the season of rentals in the Hamptons on the East End of Long Island - seasonal, monthly, and long-term. There are many assumptions with regard to landlord-tenant relationships that can be problematic for both. Unfortunately, many landlords and tenants, despite the potential consequences, choose to be penny wise and pound foolish, rather than avail themselves of professional counsel before entering into these relationships.
The best way for landlords and tenants to define their rights and obligations is through a written lease.
Q: A lease isn't necessary if I am only renting on a short-term basis, right?
A: Whether a rental is for 30, 60, 90 days or one year, the landlord and tenants have rights and obligations with or without a written lease. Too often, landlords and tenants don't find this out until there is a problem and wind up in court. It's better to take the precaution in advance by using a professionally prepared lease. Federal Lead Disclosure Laws apply to homes constructed prior to 1978 with some exceptions, i.e. rentals of fewer than one hundred days.
Q: The rent is due on the first of the month?
A: The rent is due at the end of the month unless the lease states that the rent is due on the first of the month.
Q: Does ahe tenant need the landlord's permission to sublet the rental or assign the lease to another party?
A: Unless the lease requires the landlord's permission, and there also are circumstances whereby the landlord may not unreasonably deny permission, for example, if the property consists of four or more units or the tenant dies.
Q: If I sell the property is the lease automatically terminated?
A: Not unless the lease states that. The lease and all of its terms continues until its expiration date and the tenant is responsible to pay the rent to the new owner.
Q: If I move out I am no longer responsible to pay rent?
A: Unless the lease says so. The tenant is responsible to pay the rent until the expiration date of the lease.
Q: If the tenant stops paying rent can I lock them out or discontinue providing services?
A: This would constitute an illegal eviction with serious consequences for the landlord. The landlord must pursue his rights under the lease through the courts.
Q: Is a security deposit intended to compensate the landlord for unpaid rent?
A: The security deposit is intended to compensate the landlord for damage to the landlord's property caused by the tenant except for normal wear and tear. A court may allow the landlord to withdraw money from the security deposit foe unpaid rent. Landlords often confuse a security deposit with the payment of the last month's rent in advance.
Q: Only the names of the people named on the lease can live on the preemies?
A: New York law allows an additional occupant who need not be named on the lease as well as certain family members of the tenant named on the lease subject to any laws that prohibit overcrowding based on health and safety.
Q: Do I need a rental permit to rent out my house?
A: In the unincorporated portions of the Town of Southampton you do. The law prohibits rentals of fewer than thirty days.
Q: I can rent to whomever I want?
A: Rentals are subject to Federal, State, and Local Fair Housing Laws.
Q: Will my insurance will cover me?
A: Landlords and tenants must consult an insurance professional to find out what each needs to protect their property.
Q: Popular myth...The less I know the better off I am.
A: Ignorance of the law is never an acceptable defense.
Too many landlords and tenants live by the law of probabilities: "What are the chances of anything going wrong," rather than 'Murphy's Law,' "What can go wrong will go wrong."
Editor's Note: John will be teaching a 22.5 hours Real Estate Continuing Education class at Long Island University in Riverhead on May 14, May 16, and May 18, 2012. For information and registration contact Rosemary Malone at 631-287-8334 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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