Seaside Heights officials, with little fanfare, passed an ordinance this week that prohibits motels and homeowners from renting rooms or houses to anyone under the age of 18.
The ordinance was passed unanimously by the borough council on Wednesday with only a single comment by a representative from the Business Improvement District who favored the ordinance.
According to the new law, a copy of which was provided to Shorebeat, no one under the age of 18 will be able to rent a motel room, home, apartment or condominium in Seaside Heights. The ordinance goes on to require that someone age 18 or over must be one of the occupants of a rental unit at all times.
“In other words, no more of the parents signing a form and faxing it from somewhere two hours away,” Borough Administrator Christopher Vaz said previously.
The council first began considering a rental age restriction after police responded to several prom rentals this spring, and a party at a borough nightclub drew teens – and incidents of underage drinking. Officials thought about enacting a 21-year-old age limit, but faced opposition and potential lawsuits from motel owners.
Under the ordinance, the occupant of the rental unit who is above age 18 will have “charge of, and personal responsibility for” minors in their company. The ordinance bans minors from renting units – and property owners from renting to them. The penalty for violations is a fine of $1,000 for each offense or a 30 day jail term.