Local Airbnb hosts oppose new short-term rental law

Local

MILTON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A new law in the Town of Milton is aimed at protecting neighborhoods from the “harmful effects” of Airbnb and other short-term vacation rentals.

Plenty of people who own homes near the Saratoga Race Course make extra income by renting them out to trackgoers in the summer. The new law puts regulations on the practice that some homeowners are calling unfair.

“It’s against my Fourth Amendment right for the town to come in without a warrant, and you know, peek in my closets and see what’s going on in my house,” said Brigette Herbst.

Herbst’s family home becomes a weekend vacation rental in the summer that sleeps 12.

“It’s just a little bit of extra money that my family can use to go on vacations, to pay for my kid’s sporting events,” she said.

But under a new law in the Town of Milton, Herbst will have to apply for a short-term rental permit and submit to an inspection by a town representative.

“There’s no need for them to come in and inspect my house,” said Herbst.

The original bill included a $250 fee to get a permit, but it was eliminated. Homeowners who violate the law can still be fined up to $1,000. The Milton Town supervisor was unavailable for comment. The law says the town board wishes to “protect against adverse effects” of short-term rentals.

“A lot of noise,” said Virginie Trumbull, who lives in the same neighborhood. She says disruptions by renters are her biggest fear.

“It could be very invasive to the neighborhood, but it’s your property, so you should be able to do whatever if you want,” she said.

Herbst says her home is already booked for this coming summer, but she has yet to apply for a permit. It remains to be seen if the law will have an impact on home-sharing.

The next Town Board Meeting is March 11, and Herbst says she and many others plan to attend and demand the law be repealed.

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