Great Neck Estates residents making extra cash as Airbnb hosts may no longer be able to do so if the village moves forward with a ban on short-term rentals.
The village is considering prohibiting rentals through popular websites like Airbnb, Home Away and VRBO for periods shorter than 60 days in order to protect the “health, safety and welfare of the community,” according to the local law.
The village board determined that the number of short-term rentals is increasing in the village and that transient rentals threaten both residential character and quality of life in Great Neck Estates.
Village officials did not return multiple calls for comment.
Short-term rentals might not have sufficient safety requirements such as fire alarms and portable extinguishers, and also compete with long-term, affordable rentals in the village, the local law reads.
Lisa Anderman, an attorney and village resident who attended the recent public hearing where the law was discussed, said the board’s desire to regulate property to this extent was concerning and akin to a property right deprivation.
“I don’t particularly like government telling me what I can and cannot do with my home,” she said. “I should be allowed to rent my home, sell my home, lease my home.”
Other municipalities on Long Island, mostly in areas with seasonal tourism, are also taking similar action to curb rentals. In the towns of Southold and Islip, it is illegal for residents to rent homes for fewer than 14 nights. At 60 consecutive days, Great Neck Estates appears to be considering stricter measures.
Last year, there were nearly 1,400 Airbnb hosts across Nassau and Suffolk counties, with guests typically staying three to four nights, at an average of $254 per night, according to Airbnb representatives. A quick scan of Airbnb and other sites such as Home Away show a handful of listings in the Great Neck area, from private bedrooms, to studios and spacious two-bedrooms, at various price points.
Long Island hosts on Airbnb reaped $15.4 million in revenue last year, but Great Neck Estates hosts may no longer be permitted to continue to collect.
Seyhan Erden, an Airbnb host who lives in nearby Great Neck, said the proposed regulation is unnecessary and that excessive weekend tourism isn’t an issue.
“It’s not New York City; not a lot of people want to come,” said Erden, a Columbia University professor. “The money is very little.”
Erden rents an extra bedroom in her home for $210 a night while her children are away at college. The appeal isn’t about a little extra income, but in meeting new people who love travel, she said.
Another public hearing on the proposed ban will be held May 9 at 8 p.m. at Village Hall.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PROPOSED BAN
- It would bar rentals booked for fewer than 60 consecutive days
- Rentals would be prohibited in all zoning districts
- Aim is to protect residential character and quality of life, and ensure both life and fire safety in homes
- If passed, the local law will take effect immediately