WESTFIELD, NJ — A new ordinance under consideration by the Westfield Town Council would put regulations on short-term home rentals.
Ordinance 2104 stems from issues that were brought to the council’s attention more than a year ago, Town Administrator Jim Gildea said during the town council’s recent conference meeting.
“We had one or two instances in town where there was some complaints about people renting out space in their home,” Gildea said.
“Right now there’s absolutely nothing on our books that would prevent short-term rentals,” Town Attorney Tom Jardim said. “So if anybody’s renting out their home in town the town is really powerless to do anything about it if there turns out to be a problem in the neighborhood. This strikes a balance, in the ordinance, by permitting a certain amount of short-term rentals but also prohibiting certain other things.”
Among the rules included in the ordinace:
- Anyone who rents out more than five homes must register with the town.
- The person offering the short-term rental must be the owner or lessee of the residence. Short-term rental activity may not occur in any accessory building located on the same premises as the residence.
- There shall be no sign identifying the short-term rental use.
- Short-term rental use shall be conducted in a manner that does not materially disrupt or adversely affect the town.
- No equipment or process shall be used in such short-term rental that creates glare, fumes, odors or other nuisance factors.
- Short-term rentals shall be limited to a maximum of 60 days per year, except in the Central Business District.
- No short-term rental shall be for a period of more than 30 days, except in the Central Business District.
- Up to two bedrooms may be rented to guests, and occupancy shall be limited to two guests per bedroom or four total guests, whichever is less.
- Only one party of guests shall be permitted per short-term rental unit.
- For all short-term rentals, there shall be an in-town property manager available at all times if the owner or operator is out of town during the time of the rental.
- Certain information must be posted in the rental unit, including phone numbers for police, fire and code enforcement officer; the name and number of the property manager; the maximum number of parking spaces available; and trash and recycling pick-up days.
- Use of the short-term rentals for commercial or social events shall be prohibited.
- In no event shall a short-term rental property be rented to anyone younger than 21.
The council voted unanimously in favor of introducing the ordinance during its regular meeting last week. Before the ordinance can go back to the town council for a public hearing and final vote, it will need to be approved by the Westfield Planning Board.