LAKE COMO, NJ — Landlords now have the option of self-inspection for short-term rentals any time of the year.

In addition to its seasonal short-term rental license that covers the period of March 15 to September 15, the Lake Como Council recently created such a license for the off-season — from October 1 through March 31.

This allows property owners to accommodate short-term tenants without the need for a full inspection each time the dwelling’s occupants change — a process that could prove both time consuming and cost prohibitive when tenant turnaround is on a monthly, biweekly or even weekly basis, according to landlords pushing for the off-season self-inspection option.

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It’s also a way for the borough to keep up with new trends in the vacation rental market, including the growth in popularity of such home rental booking sites as Airbnb or VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner).

Under the borough’s biannual rental license rules, a landlord pays a $150 inspection fee and $50 tourism fee for every unit that receives a certificate of inspection for a seasonal or off-season license. And each time a tenant changes during that period, a “certificate of self-inspection” must be completed and submitted to the Lake Como Code Enforcement Office, which also recommended that the seasonal self-inspection rules be extended to the off-season.

Before the self-inspection option was first offered in 2016, landlords were required to pay an initial $120 certificate of inspection fee and $50 tourism, as well as an additional $75 fee and a $25 tourism fee for every change in tenant.

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