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Montauk homeowner fined $15G for illegal summer house share

The home at 13 Beech Hollow Ct. in

The home at 13 Beech Hollow Ct. in Montauk is seen on Sept. 20, 2016. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

A Montauk man pleaded guilty Monday to 26 misdemeanor town code violations in East Hampton Town for allowing a tenant to operate the summer rental as an illegal share house.

East Hampton Town Justice Lisa Rana accepted the plea agreement and fined Thomas Mahl $15,000. She also ordered him to bring the property, at 13 Beech Hollow Court in Montauk, into compliance with the town’s building and zoning codes.

Mahl’s attorney, Brian Matthews of East Hampton-based Matthews, Kirst & Cooley PLLC, did not respond Tuesday to requests for comment.

Mahl and Alina Gersham, a Manhattan woman who rented the property, were charged last September with several code violations, including no smoke detectors, building without a permit and improper egress for bedrooms in the basement. Gersham allegedly rented the house to 18 people, charging renters as much as $1,800 per weekend to use the property.

When police and town public safety personnel executed a search warrant, they found the basement and pool house had been illegally converted into nine bedrooms despite the home’s certificate of occupancy allowing for only three bedrooms, according to town officials.

Gersham pleaded guilty to numerous misdemeanors months earlier and paid a $20,000 fine.

“Our town will not tolerate violations of our town code, especially those sections designed to protect the health, safety, and welfare of our single-family neighborhoods and community at large,” East Hampton Supervisor Larry Cantwell said in a statement.

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