Could New Trenton Legislation Devastate Jersey Shore House Rentals?

Temperatures are warming, Save Jerseyans, and renting a house at the Jersey Shore is a regional tradition and a linchpin of the New Jersey economy. Millions will visit our beaches beginning in a few short weeks.

Trenton’s latest attempt to expand its power COULD endanger shore house rentals, and it’s getting pushback from one of this cycle’s most closely-watched Assembly candidates.

Over the weekend, Brigantine Councilman and real estate professional Vince Sera, a Republican, sent a letter to Asw. Valerie Huttle, the Democrat behind A-4441, voicing his opposition to the proposal’s planned impact on short term rentals. The move by Huttle is part of a larger effort to bring online and “Air BnB” rentals in line with regulations facing hotels and motels in the Garden State.

Vince Sera

Sera, a real estate agent for Berkshire Hathaway, says that’s wrongheaded and potentially devastating.

“As a shore community, our local economy depends on tourism,” Sera explained in his letter. Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in New Jersey.

The problem identified by Sera is two-fold:

(1) Its unnecessary: According to the Councilman, his community is already working to streamline the fee process after originally working on an ordinance similar to A-4441 which was subsequently scrapped per the advice of the local rental inspection office. They’re affecting similar changes, locally, under the same amended ordinance, providing for a uniform fee structure.

(2) It’s destructive: The legislation would regulate the numbers of days, and limit the number of units, which a host can operate. “One of the greatest challenges we, and many other shore communities face is the accessibility of short-term rentals,” Sera explained. “So the only  way we can accommodate all of our summer guests and visitors is through the  accessibility of short-term rentals.

If A-4441 becomes law as written?

“The limitations your bill places on short-term rentals will place a hardship on our local economy,” Sera added.

You can click here to read the Councilman’s full letter to Asw. Huttle here.

Sera and running mate Brenda Taube (R-Margate) will face some combination of incumbent Vince Mazzeo (D-Northfield), Committeeman John Armato (D-Buena Vista Township) and Freeholder Ernest Coursey (who’s running off the line in the Democrat primary) this upcoming November in one of the state’s rare competitive legislative contests.