Lavallette officials this week clarified the borough’s position on the prohibition of short-term rentals, prompted by questions from local real estate agents as to whether property owners could accept weekly tenants this summer amidst the restrictions stemming from the coronavirus-related measures.
“We’ve been getting a lot of phone calls and inquiries from the realtors, who are getting questions from potential renters,” said Borough Administrator Robert Brice.
The rental restrictions put in place last month prohibit rentals that are secured via online platforms such as VRBO and Airbnb, but some of the borough’s traditional real estate agents use online portals to conduct their rental businesses, Brice said. He asked the borough council to weigh in on the matter.
“The fear was that people were going to use Airbnb to get immediate short-term rentals, escaping New York City, to go down the Shore for the weekend,” said Mayor Walter LaCicero. “I don’t think we were looking to discourage someone from renting in May when they’re looking to come in August.”
The council did not modify the rental prohibition that is in place, but for the sake of enforcement, traditional weekly rentals will be allowed in the borough this summer.
“Even as short-term as a week, I would not have a problem with that,” said LaCicero. “Pretty much every realtor out here has already added a clause to their lease saying that if the Lavallette beach is closed, you get a return of 100 percent of your deposit.”
According to the policy previously adopted by the borough: “The rental of homes, apartments, condominiums, studios or other residential units within the Borough of Lavallette via AirBNB and any other on-line marketplaces for the rental of homes is hereby prohibited.”
The order will not expire until Gov. Phil Murphy lifts the state of emergency for New Jersey, which was extended to June 7 on Wednesday.
“For now, it will be left as is,” said LaCicero.