If you own a home within the Town of Southampton and want to rent your home, whether it be annually, seasonally or monthly, it is imperative that you apply for and obtain a rental permit from the Town. If you already have rented your home without having obtained a permit, you may be at risk of losing rental income paid. If you intend to rent your home, you must obtain the permit prior to the commencement of occupancy and prior to collecting any rental monies, including a deposit or advance rent.
Southampton Town Code § 270 requires a homeowner to obtain a rental permit as a condition to the collection of rent. A rental permit is good for 2 years and then must be renewed. If the tenant changes within the 2 years, you must notify the Town of the new tenant information.
Recently, in a Suffolk County Supreme Court case, the court made two very important rulings: (1) that a tenant has a private right of action against a landlord for violation of Town Code § 270; and (2) that in an action against a landlord, the tenant may recoup rent paid if the tenant can prove injury as a result of the violation.
Aside from obtaining the permit, State law requires that all security deposits be kept in a separate account and cannot be commingled with the landlord’s personal moneys. In addition, upon deposit into a bank account, the landlord must notify the tenant in writing of the name and address of the bank in which the deposit was made. Failure to comply with this law could subject you to the loss of the security deposit.