Thiele Will Introduce Legislation to Clarify That “Security and Advance” Limitation in the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act Does Not Apply to Seasonal Rentals

The act was intended to apply to permanent residential tenancies; Clarification would avoid confusion and unnecessary litigation
August 9, 2019

New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (I, D, WF-Sag Harbor) will introduce legislation making it clear that the “security and advance” limitation contained in the newly-enacted Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) does not apply to seasonal rentals of 120 days or less.

In June, the State Legislature enacted sweeping housing reforms to protect tenants in relation to permanent residential housing. One provision in the 74 page bill states that a landlord cannot demand a “deposit or advance” in excess of one month’s rent. Despite the clear intent of the State Legislature that this act was to apply to permanent housing, some have opined that the “security and advance” limitation could also be applied to seasonal or temporary rentals. To date, the State Attorney General, who is responsible for enforcing the law, has offered no opinion on whether the act would apply to seasonal rentals.

It is common practice on the East End and in other vacation destinations across New York State to require a single payment for the entire term of a seasonal rental. If the act were to be applied to seasonal rentals, that practice would not be permitted. Thiele’s legislation would make it clear that the HSTPA provision relating to security and advances does not apply to seasonal rentals.

Thiele stated, “The Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 is a meaningful reform of New York’s housing laws that provides needed security to tenants and protections for affordable housing, including manufactured home residents across the East End. It is clear from the intent of the sponsors, and the substantial debate on the measure, that its provisions are intended to apply only to permanent residential dwelling units, not seasonal rentals. However, there are fears in some quarters that it could apply to vacation rentals. This needs to be clarified to avoid unnecessary litigation over future vacation rentals.”

Thiele noted, “Summer rentals are a vital part of the local economy on the East End. A change in well-accepted business practices of requiring a single payment for a seasonal rental would adversely affect the real estate market and our economy. Not only was the law not intended to cover seasonal rentals, there is no documented problem with the practice of a single payment. My bill would exempt any temporary or seasonal rental of 120 days or less from the ‘security and advance’ limitation.”

Thiele will seek early passage of his bill in the 2020 session to avoid any adverse consequences to the 2020 rental season.

Thiele added, “In the meantime, until the State Legislature can act, I urge the State Attorney General to provide guidance to the public that the ‘security and advance’ limitation will not be enforced against seasonal rentals.”