FAQs on City’s Proposed Short-Term Rental Ordinance

Q:  What is a short-term rental?

A:   A short-term rental is where a property owner rents out their property, or a permitted part of their property, such as a bedroom, to a guest for a short (30 days or less) period.  Short-term rentals are usually facilitated through the use of web-based (on-line) companies such as AirBnB, HomeAway or VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner), and other similar websites.

Q:  Does the City currently allow short-term rental of properties?

A:   Currently, there is a Summer Rental Ordinance that permits owners of single family residences and condominiums to apply for and obtain a Summer Rental License and Certificate of Occupancy (C.O.), by paying one fee and having one set of inspections.  The license is only good for the period from Memorial Day (May) to Labor Day (September).   There is currently no ordinance or law prohibiting owners from renting their property on a short-term basis for the period of the year after Labor Day (September) to Memorial Day (May).  However, the City Code requires property owners who rent property, to apply for and obtain a c.o. each and every time occupancy in the property changes, whether that is every weekend, week, month, year, etc. 

Q:  What is the difference between the City’s Summer Rental License Ordinance and the proposed Short-Term Rental Ordinance?

A:  The new STR Ordinance will expand the period for short-term rental of properties, with an annual permit and payment of one fee, from just the Summer months to a full 12 month period, running from the date the application is made.  It will also significantly expand the types of properties eligible to apply for and obtain a Short-Term Rental Permit, from just single family residences and condominiums to 5 classifications of properties.

Q: How will the proposed Short-Term Rental Ordinance change short-term rental procedures?

A:  The STR Ordinance will ease the burden of requiring that the owner obtain a c.o. for every change of occupancy, by permitting owners of 5 classifications of properties to obtain an annual short-term rental permit,  paying one annual fee and having one set of inspections for a 12 month period.  The STR permit will be good for a 12 month period, from its issuance, and will allow the owner to rent the property on a short-term basis up to a cumulative total of 180 days in that 12 month permit period.  

Q:  What are the (5) classifications of properties which will be permitted to rent on a short-term basis under the new STR Ordinance?

A:  The new STR Ordinance provides for (5) classifications of properties that will be permitted to be rented on a short-term basis; those classifications are as follows:

  • A condominium, so long as the Association and bylaws permit short-term rentals, and the unit is the principal residence of the owner;
  • A single family residence, where the property is the principal residence of the owner;
  • One (1) unit in a two family residence, where the other unit is the principal residence of the owner;
  • One (1) unit in a multi family residence, where one of the other units is the principal residence of the owner;
  • Not more than one room (i.e. a bedroom) within a single-family residential dwelling unit, where the room shares common kitchen and bathroom facilities with the occupant of the dwelling unit, and the remainder of the single-family dwelling unit is owner occupied (this is the original definition of “home sharing”).

Q:  What constitutes a property being a “principal residence” for purposes of the STR Ordinance?

A:   Principal address means the address: (1) where at least one of the property owners spends the majority of his or her non-working time, and (2) which is most clearly the center of his or her domestic life, and (3) which is identified on his or her driver’s license or state identification as being his or her legal address.  All the above requirements must be met in order for an address to constitute being a principal residence.

Q: Are there any circumstances where a property owner does not have to satisfy the “principal residence” requirement of the permitted property classifications? 

A: Yes.  The STR Ordinance “grandfathers” those property owners who properly applied for and obtained a Summer Rental License for their property in Summer 2017, under the Summer Rental License Ordinance.   The ordinance exempts those property owners who complied and were issued a Summer Rental License in 2017, from the “principal residence” requirement of the new STR Ordinance.  Those owners may apply for and obtain a Short-Term Rental Permit, if they are in the 5 listed property classifications, whether the property is their “principal residence” or not.

Q:  If my property does not match one of the above 5 classifications or satisfy the principal residence exemption requirement, am I still permitted to rent it on a short-term basis?

A:  NO.  The new ordinance prohibits the short-term rental of any properties in the City, other than those within the 5 defined classifications above, or if your property is exempt from the principal residence requirement of the new STR Ordinance because you properly obtained a Summer Rental License for your property in Summer 2017.   Keep in mind, “short-term rental” means rental of 30 days or less, i.e daily, weekends, single weeks, etc.  Property owners who are not within the 5 classifications above, while banned from short-term rental, ARE PERMITTED to rent their property for 31 days or more, i.e. for the summer season, winter rentals, long term rentals, etc.  They would simply have to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy each time the occupants change in their property, as outlined in the existing law.   

 Q:  Do I need to have a Short-Term Rental Permit before advertising my short-term rental?

A:  Yes, Short-term Rental property owners are required to obtain a Permit prior to advertising their property for rental on a short-term basis. All advertisements for rental of the property must contain the Short-term Rental Permit number issued by the City.

Q:   How can a person or entity obtain a Short Term Rental Permit?

A:  Eligible property owners or entities will submit a permit application to the City of Asbury Park Department of Property Improvement and Neighborhood Preservation, together with all required documentation, and the application fee.  The City will issue a Permit to applicants who satisfy all requirements, which includes an inspection of the property for the issuance of an annual Certificate of Occupancy. 

Q:  How much does it cost to get a Short-Term Rental Permit?

A:  The permit fee is $300.00 annually.  (The fee for the renewal of the permit is $300.00). That fee includes the STR Permit as well as the fees for all inspections, and the issuance of the required annual Certificate of Occupancy. 

Q: How long is the Short-Term Rental Permit good for?

A:   STR Permits are good for one year from the date of issuance or until the transfer of the property, whichever occurs first.

Q:  Am I required to provide the names or information regarding the occupants during the short-term rental of my property?

A:  Yes, each time that you change occupants of your property throughout the year, you are required to fill out a Short-term Rental Occupant Change Form, and submit to the City.  This form requires, among other information relating to your STR, the names, ages and gender of each occupant who will be occupying the property.  This form is available and may be completed and submitted online.  Just as in any standard application for a regular Certificate of Occupancy, when you rent your property in the City, this basic identifying information of the intended occupants of the property is required for purposes of police, fire, and emergency personnel and City Officials being aware of who is occupying the property at all times.  Further, it is required to ensure that no overcrowding of the property is occurring.   

Q: What happens if I don't get a STR Permit for my short-term rental property and advertise it for rent on a website, or actually rent it on a short-term basis?

A:  You will be breaking the law.  If you operate a short-term rental property without the required permit, you will be found in violation of the City of Asbury Park’s Ordinances, and will be subject to enforcement action.   Summonses with civil penalties will be issued for violations, with each day’s rental of the property constituting a new and separate violation.  The fines for violations under the Ordinance can be as high as $2,000.00 per violation.  The City of Asbury Park has already employed enforcement software, which aids in tracking and monitoring, and identifying permitted and unpermitted operations of Short-term Rental properties.

Q:   If I already operate a short-term rental property, can I continue to operate it?

A: It depends.  If you satisfy one of the 5 permitted classifications of properties in the Ordinance (listed above) or you are exempt from the principal residence requirement of the new STR Ordinance because you properly obtained a Summer Rental License for your property in Summer 2017, then YES , you can continue to operate as a short-term rental, but only after making the required application for a permit, paying the fee, having the required inspections and being issued a Short-Term Rental Permit and Certificate of Occupancy by the City.   Otherwise, upon adoption of the Short-Term Rental Ordinance by the Council, you must immediately terminate all further advertising of the property for rent on a short-term basis, and you will have a reasonable period to be determined, based on any bookings prior to adoption of the Ordinance, to cease all short-term rental operations of your property. 

Q: Why regulate short-term rentals in the first place?

A: There are many good reasons why local government leaders are focused on finding ways to manage the rapid growth of short-term rental properties in their communities. To name a few:

  1. Increased tourist traffic from short-term renters has the potential to slowly transform peaceful residential communities into “communities of transients” where people are less interested in investing in one another’s lives, be it in the form of informal friend groups or church, school and other community based organizations.
  2. Short-term renters may not always know (or follow) local rules, resulting in public safety risks, noise issues, trash and parking problems for nearby residents.
  3. So-called “party houses” i.e. homes that are continuously rented to larger groups of people with the intent to party can severely impact neighbors, and drive down nearby home values.
  4. Conversion of residential units into short-term rentals can result in less availability of affordable housing and long term rental options, as well as higher rents for long-term renters in the community.
  5. Local service jobs can be jeopardized as unfair competition from unregulated and untaxed short-term rentals reduces demand for local bed & breakfasts, hotels and motels.
  6. Lack of proper regulation or limited enforcement of existing ordinances may cause tension or hostility between short-term landlords and their neighbors

11/1/17


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