Government

Use of Livingston Home as Airbnb Causes Concern Among Residents

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LIVINGSTON, NJ — Residents of Fordham Road have raised concern about a home on their street that is currently listed for sale but is being rented out as an Airbnb in the meantime. According to neighbors, some of the groups renting the property are causing disturbances on the typically quiet and family-friendly Livingston cul-de-sac.

When one couple brought this matter to the Livingston Township Council’s attention last week, the mother of two girls described recurring scenes where dozens of people congregate on the cul-de-sac, the street is lined with cars, and her children are woken up by the noise coming from the strangers across the street. These parties usually start around midnight, she said, and the guests enter and exit the house until 2 or 3 a.m., causing “rowdy” noise when they get into their cars to leave at that time.

“Approximately three months ago, my husband and I noticed that there were numerous parties occurring late at night at the house across the street from us,” said Susan Abramson. “After attending an open house and being told by the broker that the house was vacant and no one lived there, I thought it was suspicious because the house was on sale for over a year.”

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When she called the broker, Abramson was informed that the owner was listing the house on Airbnb with no minimum stay. She said that on the Airbnb website, the home is listed as “an estate” and that events such as holiday parties, college reunions, baby showers, photo shoots, etc. are acceptable.

She said that these events occur nearly every Friday and Saturday night, adding that the people seem to be from out of the area, and “are not the element of the people we meet here in Livingston.” The couple also said that both the police and zoning board have been notified, but that the problem has persisted for several weeks.

“My family feels like we live across from a bar or club,” said Abramson. “We moved to Livingston, and particularly Fordham Road, because we felt it was a quiet, safe location to raise our daughters. Our feeling of well-being in our home is being violated by the use of this house as a commercial property. The owner is purposely making the environment unsafe by renting his home for party and commercial use and it is a nuisance to the community.”

The mayor and council, along with Township Attorney Sharon Weiner, stated that they had been previously alerted to issues regarding recycling at this location and that the homeowner was taken to court and fined. Thanking the couple for further explaining what is occurring on the property, Weiner said she was in the process of writing a letter to the owner and that she would incorporate this new information.

“Supposedly they are hiring a private carter to take away the garbage so it’s not sitting out there,” said Weiner. “But this is beyond being just an Airbnb. This does sound like it’s being used for events and for more of a commercial use and I will pursue that.”

The couple thanked the mayor and council for their time, and suggested that they discuss adopting a short-term rental law to deter a group of people from renting a home for a night to host “wild parties” like the ones occurring at 22 Fordham Road.

“We appreciate your coming tonight because it’s great to hear from the residents when there’s issues,” said Mayor Ed Meinhardt. “I thank both of you for taking time out of your schedules and we certainly will follow up.” 

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