Well some interesting things have developed with me in the past few weeks. I have decided after almost a decade with Douglas Elliman real estate in a management position to become a full time agent with the company. So what does that mean to you? It means I’m going to have more time to blog and help buyers and sellers with their needs in the Hamptons. So, if you or anyone you know is looking to buy or sell out east , make sure to let me know!
Anyway, rentals seem to be on fire lately. I personally am up by about 30% more year to date on the number of rentals I’ve done. But its funny so many people in the Hamptons will put their houses on the market for rent but not understand how it’s done. So, I’m doing a little beginners guide here for the potential landlord and some terms you should know!
The open listing – Many rentals in the Hamptons are what they call open listings, meaning each company has their own data for summer rentals and that information is not shared electronically, like an exclusive sale. That’s not to say that agents don’t talk and share information but it’s not coming from one central source. This is why you may see the same home listed for different prices and time periods on varying web sites. You can indeed make it an exclusive and make sure access is limited but often this may discourage some agents from showing your house over another where they will make the lion’s share of the commission. My suggestion is give your rental listing to an agent you trust and ask them to send out a “courtesy” listing to some select agents at other companies. This way you’re competitive and the agents are all getting the same information.
Permits baby! – As with anything in life you have obligations and responsibilities when you become a landlord. Claiming ignorance if you should be sued is not a defense and they have a tendency to go all “Judge Judy” when you go and try to use this as a defense. Make sure you know the rules before you decide to sign that lease. Make sure you google the regulations for what is acceptable and when renting in Southampton make sure you have a permit. I’ve heard stories of tenants suing their landlords for silly reasons at the end of the season and getting their entire rent refunded because the landlord didn’t have a permit. Yes, people rent without permits but is it worth the risk? That is your call.
Credit Call – Remember those stories about the guy who was renting Hamptons houses for High School proms only to trash them and leave the landlords holding the bills. You don’t?! Then you want to make sure your prospective tenant isn’t hat guy has the funds to pay the rent and pay any potential damages. It’s really no big deal and doesn’t take much time at all. Here is one (tenant screening report) I just googled as I was writing this blog! It’s not an endorsement but just an illustration of how easy this is to obtain.
Call the Pros!!! – When it comes to insurance, the tax liability and the legal rights within your lease, call the prospective professionals. The lawyer, the tax professional and an insurance broker are your best friends when it comes to keeping your self protected. While many agents will give you advice, do yourself a favor, call a pro!!!
Meanwhile, the fur is flying in the Hamptons over all things… poop! In case you missed it in the NEW YORK POST last week (even my sister in Florida saw it), there is new push to ban dogs from the beach! So who has a bone with Russell and Bella??? Well recently I had a few friends stop by and we discussed the issue at hand.