Hempstead Officials Mull Ban On AirBnB, Other Short Term Rentals

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Room and house rental through websites like Air BnB are prompting new restrictions on Long Island.

With more than 1,000 listings in the Town of Hempstead there’s now a proposal to ban short-term rentals of under one month.

Homes a stone’s throw from the ocean in Point Lookout are a draw for visitors and a source of income for their owners.

“I do have a house, I rent it for a week at a time,” Eileen D’Agastino told CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff.

Rentals like that could soon be illegal in the Town of Hempstead, America’s largest township is proposing a ban on renting out for under 28 days. It’s an answer to complaints over the explosion of online services like Air BnB.

“It takes a quiet residential street in suburbia and turns the property on that street into a business with all of the problems that comes with it. They don’t belong in our residential communities,” town supervisor Anthony Santino said.

Town officials said the revolving door of strangers impacts safety.

“God forbid there is a fire in one of those buildings. It would be deadly for the visitors staying in the Air BnB, and deadly for first responders,” councilman Anthony D’Esposito said.

The law would also create a rental registry, and require inspections and permits.

But shutting down short-term rentals in beach communities?

“The economy survives and thrives on rentals and people coming into town. That’s how restaurants make money,” Peter Cohen said.

“I think it’s a bad idea, a lot of people can afford to stay here because they rent out in the summer,” Heinz Posch said.

Air BnB said it hopes the town, “…considers the overwhelmingly positive impact of home sharing before restricting a growing economic engine.”

The Town of Huntington scrapped a similar proposal after a meeting with owners who rely on the income. Instead they’ll limit the number of rental days per year.

A public hearing on the matter is scheduled for July 11.

 

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