Bay Head details short-term home rental limitations

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(MARK R. SULLIVAN/THE OCEAN STAR)

BAY HEAD — The borough council has introduced an ordinance that would prohibit short-term home rentals in the borough for any stay less than seven days.

Ordinance 2020-15, introduced at the governing body’s Nov. 2 meeting, amends Chapter 101 of the borough code, specifically section 101-3, “Residential Rental Units.”

“What had happened was executive orders came down with regards to the short-term and summer rentals back in the spring, and though we had an existing ordinance that addressed rentals, it was always something that we had on the backburner that we knew eventually we would have to tweak … so what we have done is come up with periods of tenancy,” Councilwoman Jennifer Barnes-Gambert told The Ocean Star.

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Under the ordinance, long-term rentals are residential rentals for a period of longer than 12 months; short-term rentals are residential housing units available for rent for a period between 30 days and 12 months; weekly rentals are residential housing units available for rent for a period of seven days through 30 days; and tenancies for a term of less than seven days are prohibited in the borough.

“We wanted to make sure the ordinance was workable for our town and also to make sure that we were in compliance with the various executive orders that were handed down by the governor’s office,” Ms. Barnes-Gambert said.

“With the original ordinance, we didn’t break down the types of rentals necessarily. It talks primarily of inspections by the code official, by the zoning officer to make sure that the property is compliant and then basically the violations and fees. The ordinance didn’t define what the periods of tenancy would be … so we figured in order to make it easier for people to rent their properties and understand what exactly the state and the municipality are mandating, we felt it easier to break it down for clarity purposes.”

Under long-term rentals, the certificate of occupancy [CO] will be in force until a change in tenant occupancy occurs or for a term of three years. Under the short-term rentals, certificate of occupancy shall be required each and every calendar year. A weekly certificate of occupancy is required every four months after the initial issuance.

“We’re trying to eliminate the short-term week rentals and weekend rentals and things like that because number one, nobody is paying their permit fees to get their COs, and so if we have the ordinance, the police can act on it if necessary, which hopefully it wouldn’t be, but we’re trying to avoid the short-term party-rental type things,” Mayor William Curtis said.

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