A new law requiring East Hampton Town property owners who want to rent out their dwellings to register with the town and provide details about the number of tenants, lease period, and number and size of bedrooms to be occupied, is under discussion by the town board.
Under a preliminary draft presented to the board on Tuesday, prospective landlords would have to provide an affidavit or other documentation that the property complies with all town code provisions, or be subject to an inspection by the building inspector.
Those who do not obtain a rental registration number, which must be used in any advertisements for rent of the property, could be subject to a fine of up to double the amount of rent collected from the premises. Repeat offenders would be fined at least $8,000, and up to $30,000, and could be sentenced to up to six months in jail.
Property owners would be required to reregister whenever a lease period ends.
Michael Sendlenski, a town attorney who prepared the draft legislation, said at the Tuesday town board meeting that the registry would assist the town in enforcement efforts against those who violate town laws against overcrowding and short-term rentals.
The purpose, he said, is to “collect data on the number of bedrooms being used, the number of occupants, and length of stays to correlate with code enforcement complaints.”
Board members said they would seek public comment on the preliminary draft of the law by distributing it to citizens advisory committees, business groups, and real estate concerns.
Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell suggested the board invite the public to an “informal opinion gathering or comment gathering” session at a board meeting in September or October.
Mr. Sendlenski said he would like to see the law finalized before the start of 2015. The draft legislation will be posted on the town’s website.