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In a recent decision, the Eastern District of New York dismissed a multi-pronged challenge to a local municipal ordinance that regulates rental of property on a short-term or transient basis. See, LuxuryBeachfrontGetaway.Com, Inc. v Town of Riverhead, 2018 WL 3617947 (E.D.N.Y. July 27, 2018). Specifically at issue was §263-4(D)(1) of the Town Code of the Town of Riverhead, which provides that transient rentals are prohibited (with “transient” being specifically defined as a rental period of 29 days or less). Such regulation of short-term rentals is not unique to Riverhead, as governments have increasingly been called upon to respond to the impacts of emerging rental markets in the new landscape of our “sharing economy.” Several neighboring municipalities, the Towns of Southampton, Southold, and Shelter Island, have similar temporal restrictions, while others limit the amount of times per year that a property may be rented on a short-term basis or impose registry requirements on owners of such properties. Similarly, Section 4 of the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law, colloquially referred to as the “Airbnb Law,” prohibits even the mere advertisement of certain classifications of property for short-term rental purposes (less than 30 days).
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By Stewart E. Sterk
The Rent Regulation Reform Act provides for deregulation of rent-stabilized apartments occupied by tenants whose income exceeds the statutory threshold. When a married couple lives in the apartment, the income of both spouses counts in determining whether the threshold is met. But suppose only one spouse occupies the apartment as a primary residence. When, if ever, should the income of the other spouse be counted towards the threshold?