A Montauk property owner was issued dozens of tickets last week for renting a house and other structures on the property more than 50 times, starting in May of 2021.
The Town of East Hampton obtained a subpoena for rental records from the online marketplace for short-term rentals Airbnb, Inc., which showed that the property at 64 S. Elroy Street on Fort Pond had been rented at least 55 times during a nine-month period, with rents paid totaling more than $100,000.
According to the town, its rental code allows only two short-term rentals of less than two weeks within any six-month period.
In conjunction with the town’s ordinance enforcement department, the town attorney’s office conducted a three-month investigation, which led to 57 field appearance tickets for alleged violations of the town’s rental registry laws, filed against Harvey Elgart and 64 S. Elroy LLC.
“Our East Hampton Town codes are designed to protect property owners and residents from the impacts resulting from the misuse of residential properties, such as turning a residence into a money-making, commercial venture,” East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said in a statement last week.
“The transformation of single-family houses into heavy turnover rentals advertised on Airbnb and other sites has had a noticeable negative impact on the character of our neighborhoods and community. The Town will continue to pursue legal action against those who disregard our regulations and community values.”
Elgart will be arraigned in East Hampton Town Justice Court on August 1, 2022. The defendants face a maximum potential sentence under the Town Code of more than $200,000 in fines and/or a period of incarceration.
Records show the 0.50-acre property at 64 S. Elroy Drive holds two units. He purchased the property in 2017 for $2,142,500. In late December 2020, the deed was transferred from his name to 64 South Elroy LLC. In 2020 and 2021, the property was listed for rent with a price of $20,000.
Online photos show a modest home with updated interiors, including two distinct and separate living spaces, one with a large kitchen and another with a kitchenette overlooking Fort Pond. Photos show stylish modern bathrooms and several bedrooms. The outdoor area has a day bed for relaxing and stairs that lead down to the water.
The East Hampton Town law requires that all rental properties, including seasonal rentals, be registered with the town rental registry, which the building department oversees. Each property is issued a rental registration number, which must be included in any rental advertising.