Renting in the Hamptons can be daunting, so we’ve rounded up some tips from experienced renters. Here are ten things to consider before plunking down cash on the East End.
- Pick a town.
Do you crave the quaint Americana that is Sag Harbor, or do you prefer the laidback vibe of Amagansett? Whether you yearn for the pristine beaches of East Hampton or you like the scene in Montauk, ask around about where you are renting. Each town in the Hamptons has a distinct personality, so it’s important to find one that suits you.
- Respect the budget.
Figure out how much you can reasonably afford and stick to that number. If this is a summer rental, there’s no point in blowing your finances on three months of the year. It’s easy to be seduced by a swanky (and ridiculously expensive) pad, but fight the urge if it’s not in your financial plan.
- Who pays what?
When renting in the Hamptons, the landlord pays the broker fee. Of course, that cost is built into your rental price. But if it makes you feel better to think you’re getting a freebie, enjoy! If you’re renting via Airbnb or Homeaway, there is no broker fee, of course.
- Who’s (legally) invited?
With town boards cracking down on share houses, you better make sure how many people can legally reside in the rental. Otherwise, you might find your lease voided and be on a jitney headed back to the city by June.
- Is Fido welcome?
Don’t forget about your four-legged friends. If you choose to conceal your pet, don’t be surprised if your landlord slaps you with a heavy fine when Fluffy scratches up the couch. Yes, this happened to someone we know.
- Make the rules and stick to them.
If you’re sharing with friends, figure out who’s responsible for cleaning, maintenance and any other shared duties, or it’s going to be a long, stressful summer.
- Beach regulations.
Do you want to go to local beaches? What are the rules for parking? Can you take a taxi there? A village beach pass might take divine intervention. Unless you’re a resident, they are extremely difficult to get.
- Sign, sealed, and delivered.
If you want to get mail, you may need to get a box at the local post office. Every situation is different, but most rentals require you to officially register with the post office.
- Trash it.
Who’s responsible for garbage pickup at your rental? You might need to hire a local contractor. You could take the DIY route and discard your rubbish at the dump.
- Put it on lockdown.
A good portion of the rental market operates on a word-of-mouth basis. If you find something you like, renew it at the end of each summer.