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Mastic Beach amends village code to require names of tenants in rental homes

Mastic Beach Village Hall on April 20, 2014.

Mastic Beach Village Hall on April 20, 2014. The building is located at 369 Neighborhood Rd. Credit: Carl Corry

The Village of Mastic Beach board of trustees amended a village code last week by requiring landlords to list the names of their tenants, but that information won't be available to the public.

The expanded village code 380 requires landlords to disclose the identity of residents living in their dwellings to village hall before any rental permit or renewal can be issued.

"It's about better accountability. It's a better way of keeping track and if there's a problem [at the home], then we know who to go to," village Mayor Bill Biondi said.

The names of renters won't be available to village residents through the state's Freedom of Information Law, or FOIL, which allows government information to be made public.

Village officials defended their 6-0 Tuesday night decision to opponents at a board meeting last week.

"The board felt strongly that it was unnecessary to allow residents to obtain the identities of the occupants," village attorney Brian Egan said. "We viewed it as a basic privacy issue and constitutional protection."

Under the code change, landlords won't have to include the names of tenants living at a village residence from May through September, nor for any resident living in a dwelling for less than 30 days.

One attendee at the meeting, asked the board whether residents would be allowed to find out how many people are living in a residence.

The answer is yes, officials said.

Some residents commended the board for the amendment, but some felt they should be allowed to know the names of occupants since some village landlords are absentee.

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