Officials revoke Stony Brook landlord's license over multiple rentals
Brookhaven Town officials have revoked a rental license from a landlord who allegedly rented a Stony Brook house to more than a dozen tenants.
Supervisor Edward P. Romaine, during a news conference Tuesday, said at least 14 Stony Brook University students live in 14 bedrooms at 150 Christian Ave., near the college campus.
Town rental permits allow no more than four unrelated people to rent a home, Romaine said.
"The use of the house is not a single-family dwelling," Romaine told reporters and several dozen residents at a Stony Brook Fire Department substation.
"We will be taking action to keep that house from being used as a boardinghouse," Romaine added.
Fines for illegal rentals range from $250 to $10,000 per offense, depending on any prior violations a landlord may have had.
Real estate records show the house is owned by North Shore Design Inc. of Mount Sinai. Raymond Negron, a Miller Place attorney who represents the company, said the firm would appeal.
Negron said town officials, at a hearing earlier this year, presented "absolutely no evidence . . . to substantiate any of the legal elements of the revocation process." He said his client would be allowed to continue to rent the rooms in the house while the case is appealed.
He said the company's permit allowed the house to have as many as 17 tenants, but he did not know how many people lived there.
Negron said state law bars towns from restricting the number of unrelated tenants in a home, and his appeal would show "all the time and money wasted by the Town of Brookhaven simply trying to appease a small group of people in Stony Brook."
Town officials said last month they had taken 68 landlords to court, accusing them of renting illegal rooms in single-family homes in Stony Brook and Setauket.
Neighbors who attended the news conference said tenants in illegal rentals create too much trash and throw parties attended by hundreds of students. Those who complained said the problem is worsening. "I've lived here 47 years and it's never been out of control," said Lee Krauer, of Stony Brook. But, she added, "Now we have the parties."
Romaine also announced that the town is offering a mobile phone app to help residents report suspected illegal rentals.