Brigantine’s Mounting Legal Trouble Over Short-Term Rentals, Zoning Code Violations

Ventnor Mayor Lance Landgraf Short Term Rental. Mayor Sera Brigantine
Brigantine and Ventnor: STR Chaos.

Brigantine resident Andrea Sullivan is trying to save her once quiet, residential neighborhood. As usual, she spoke up at a recent Brigantine Council meeting.

Short-term rental (STR) party-houses have sprung up all over Brigantine Beach. These McMansions primarily cater to weekend parties and other large events that disrupt an otherwise tranquil neighborhood.

Ventnor is having the same problems.

Mayor Lance Landgraf of Ventnor consults Brigantine in matters of zoning and short-term rentals.

Ventnor’s Mayor Landgraf

Currently, Brigantine has a 2-night rental minimum that’s reportedly not enforced at all. STR property owners or their property managers are not required to live in or near Brigantine.

Brigantine Mayor Vince Sera, City Council members & other officials have thus far, failed to identify, regulate and enforce STR activity.

Watch video: STR crash. Speculators over-leveraged. Squatters. Too many short-term rentals chasing unvetted renters.

Watch video.

The following are excerpts of a letter that Brigantine resident Andrea Sullivan sent to Brigantine officials:

Dear Mayor Sera and council, Please carefully review attached Deed page from a property sale in Brigantine some years ago. The Deed covenant says single-family dwellings are to be occupied by a single-family & they’re not permissible to function as anything other than a single-family dwelling. To permit such single-family residences to operate in any other fashion, like a STR, is not permissible.

Video. 4.3.24

Sullivan: This deed restriction (covenant) runs with the land & is not revocable, alterable, nor can it be canceled. It is the law of the land & it is permanent. Allowing residential single-family zoned homes in Brigantine to operate as STRs, with transient tenants, is in violation of such a deed restriction (covenant). It is illegal to do so. To permit a 2-night minimum rental is akin to a motel/hotel operation.

Short-term rentals should be a minimum of 7 days. The 2-night minimum in Brigantine is nothing more than a motel operation in a residential zone. See judge ruling in NANTUCKET: “Short-Term Vacation Rentals are not allowed on the island as the primary use of homes”.

Editors Note: During the April 3, 2024 Council meeting, Brigantine solicitor sternly warned Sullivan, telling her to ‘Don’t go there. This transcript could be in front of a judge’.

brignatine mayor sera faces lawsuit over illegal short term rentals

Note: Ventnor, Brigantine and Margate do not live-stream (ZOOM) video their Planning Board meetings. They seemingly prefer privacy when making major town decisions.

At one time, Brigantine and Ventnor had motel zones. Over the years, planning boards (influenced by developers) allowed motels to be converted into condos or STR mc mansions. They wiped out the critical motel industry which brought in vacationers looking for short, inexpensive stays.

Planning boards run by builders, developers and Realtors hurt critical, seashore motel business. Planning boards killing off once vibrant, year-round communities.

Brigantine (and Ventnor) allowing STR’s to creep into all neighborhoods. Did your Real Estate agent inform you of that material fact?

Realtors are advised to warn potential buyers of Ventnor and Brigantine homes that their multi-million dollar beach block homes could one day be surrounded by short-term rental party houses.

No vetting of STR occupants. Who’s occupying that STR for the 2-night stay? Is every occupant’s name on that rental agreement? Is the STR property properly insured as a commercial business? According to Ventnor Mayor Landgraf, that’s the responsibility of the STR home owners.

Read the national news: Towns are shutting down these STR operations, but not in Brigantine or Ventnor. STRs are wreaking havoc on quiet neighborhood communities. Schools and year-round businesses eventually shut down.


3 thoughts on “Brigantine’s Mounting Legal Trouble Over Short-Term Rentals, Zoning Code Violations”

  1. Meredith Haines

    STR’s are an absolute nightmare. Developers creating huge deficit in affordable housing all over NJ. Private landlords evicted tenants to sell their properties occupant free, at max profits, and the developers bought them all up, threw some paint up and trash vinyl flooring down, then charge what was a months rent… for a 1 week stay.

    The displaced tenants (including myself) are left no options for housing and have to combine with other displaced people to afford a week here or a week there just to stay sheltered because we are left no other options! They need to be banned completely.

    This was not what Airbnb had in mind when they launched. These developers and agents are taking advantage and we all are suffering because of it. STOP IT.

  2. None of these STRs are properly insured. Why? NO ENFORCEMENT. No regulating. No CLUE as to what is really going on and how this is not only effecting existing year round residents, but how it’s hurting and strong arming the consumers as well.

    As to the Brigantine Solicitor, who is he to try to silence Ms Sullivan anyway?! His hostility came off as a threat. Almost retaliatory 🤔. She has every right to want to fight against STRs.

    And I’ve got a kid in law school as we speak. I am not afraid to use her, and would be happy to join Ms Sullivan and go for class action.

    No one regulating these Airbnb or STR ‘owners’ is reckless and negligent at best. They all turn a blind eye to the rules. Occupancy laws, fire codes, structural and habitability codes.

    Doesn’t the State of NJ require all rentals to hold a minimum of 500k liability policy in addition to the standard homeowners insurance?!

    Code violations, non compliance, no consumer protections… and law makers won’t step in?! Oh, that’s right. It’s because they’re lawmakers AND the developers, aka STR owners so they stand to quadruple their profits.

    For example, the Airbnb at ___ T____ Ave, has more leaks than a strainer, is full of mold and black mold, and the wooden staircase leading to the apartment upstairs has a loose support post that will cause a total collapse if not stabilized.

    I was a revenue manager of 3 hotels and my background is in business operations and in the hospitality industry. There are strict standards hotels, motels, extended stays, etc are obligated to comply with. Failure to do so results in complete shut down.

    Of course they’re ok with it. But where I come from, that’s called Pay-to-Play and corruption, and I’m pretty sure it violates business laws on top of Occupancy, Hotel, Landlord/Tenant, Rental, and Consumer laws and regulations.

  3. It’d be a total shame if it turns out that these developers/STR owners turn out to also be involved in the new affordable housing project builds happening all over the area recently. That’s clear manipulation of the market, and smells like insider trading, on the real estate level.

    The forced hardship so many of us have faced and are still enduring because of these predatory practices, are inexcusable. And the actions by those that allow it, are unforgivable.

    The idea that people could be that greedy, that they’d be willing to force people into homelessness just to swoop in and ‘save the day’ by building affordable housing… while profiting off of the STRs we’re all forced to stay in until said housing is ready? It’s sick. And criminal. It’s extortion. Plain and simple.

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