Rental units — long- and short-term alike — will be subject to registration and inspection should a new law be passed by New Paltz Town Council members. More than half of Town residents already live under such a scheme, since similar laws are already in effect in the Village. Registration allows for regular inspection in the Village, which is believed to increase safety for renters. Council member David Brownstein, in proposing this idea, is seeking to extend similar protections to the remaining Town residents.
Registration would be required of any property that is rented out as living space in whole or part, for any length of time, as well as vacant buildings. Registration and inspections would be conducted by a building inspector. The building department has been short-staffed, and it would likely be necessary to hire to make this law enforceable. Registration and inspection fees would be used to offset the costs of another employee. A database of all the vacant and rental properties registered, along with inspection results, would be made available.
Additional restrictions would be imposed on short-term rentals. Similar to what’s in place in the Village, these would be allowed in commercial areas, but only in residential neighborhoods when the property is being used as a primary residence. The idea is to keep investors from snapping up residential homes and turning them into full-time short-term rental businesses, which increase traffic and noise in an area. Zeroing in on ways to identify who’s living in a home and who is not will require some finesse; Brownstein said that Stacy Delarede, one of the town’s building inspectors, is working on language. It’s also hoped that some ideas might be offered during a public hearing. That hearing won’t be scheduled until a draft is finalized; Brownstein started the conversation ahead of that to allow members of the public to weigh in when the time comes.