Rental Dangers Continue

Mar 05, 2018

Q. I just was called to take a rental listing for a house in North Hempstead. The owner does not want to get a rental permit and I do not know what I should do. I sold the owner the house three years ago, and now he has been transferred out of the country for two years but he wants to keep the house for when he returns. Can I take the listing? 

A. Not if the owner refuses to get a rental permit. In fact, he must have the permit number before you list the rental or you could be liable under the Penal Code for fines and imprisonment!  In addition, after the rental occurs, the agent must file a rental registration with the town within five days of occupancy if the landlord has not done so! Failure to comply will subject the licensee to penalties, including fines starting at $1,000.00 and going as high as $5,000.00, and imprisonment under the Penal Code. Are you sure you want to take the listing?  

Q. Are any towns or villages in Nassau County besides North Hempstead requiring rental permits?

A. Yes! The towns of Hempstead and Oyster Bay, the cities of Glen Cove and Long Beach, and the villages of Freeport, Island Park, Malverne and Valley Stream. Each have fines for non-compliance, which carry fines from $200.00 depending on the town, city or village and then some danger of imprisonment for both landlords and licensees and can go up to $5,000.00! 

Q. What about Suffolk County?

A. Ready? Rental permits are required in the towns of Babylon, Brookhaven, Huntington, Islip, Riverhead, Smithtown and Southampton and the villages of Lindenhurst and Patchogue. Again, penalties include fines starting at $250 and going as high as $15,000.00 depending on the area, and in some instances imprisonment! 

Q. Is that it?

A. It is for the moment!

Q. Where can I find out more about these Codes?

A. Go to Realtor.com under "Government" and you can find all this information in further detail.

Q. Why doesn't MLS make the permit number a required field for all rentals?

A. Because there are still places that do not require a permit.

Q. Can I do an Open House for a rental?

A. Sure, it is probably a much safer way to do rental business. Just be sure the rental has all the permits that may be required and be ready to deal with a crowd.

Q. Can I tell tenants who call me that I do not do rentals?

A. I wish every agent would; then I would not have to worry so much about you!