Ventnor & Brigantine Facing Short-Term Rental Revolt

Ventnor Brigantine Short-Term Rental
Ventnor and Brigantine.

Ventnor has much in common with Brigantine. Both shore towns border the cannabis / casino mecca known as Atlantic City. Both towns also overrun with invasive AirBnB and short-term rentals (STR’s).

It’s not fun watching your neighborhood turned into a ‘motel party zone’. Thanks to AirBnB and other short-term rental operations.

Retired in Brigantine

The following features excerpts and findings from Anne H. Phillips of the Brigantine Taxpayers Association.

Back in 2017, Brigantine City Council passed a comprehensive set of laws that provide a legal foundation to address and prevent today’s STR situation.

Now Summer 2023, Brigantine still holds dubious honor of being one of the last shore towns to not have enforceable STR regulations. To date, Brigantine still allows commercial use of homes in a single-family residential zone.

Short-Term-Rentals, also known as STR’s, diminish quality of life in residential neighborhoods.

Brigantine Real Estate Exec.

Brigantine residents frustrated by Mayor Vince Sera’s inaction with short-term rentals.

PUBLIC COMMENT: Brigantine’s rookie City Manager, Tiger Platt along with Councilman Dennis Haney both need to address weak code enforcement and quality of life issues related to disruptive short-term rentals. As a former Brigantine Fire Chief, Platt should discuss critical safety issues related to high-turnover STR’s. These short-term rentals are not required to follow stricter hotel or motel level safety measures.

After months of public comment, Ventnor took a baby step an enacted a relatively weak, 3-night rental minimum. (A 7 night rental minimum is becoming the Jersey Shore standard.)

Brigantine taking longer than most to come to grips with the AirBnB problem.

Brigantine STR red flags.

  • No minimum of rental nights required (should be 7)
  • No age requirements. (should be 25+)
  • No criminal background check?
  • Ordinance may allow sub-leasing of property.
  • City Manager unaware of total # of STR properties.

Does Brigantine know how many total properties are being used as STRs?

Brigantine City Manager Tiger Platt and Mayor Vince Sera should have those figures.

Add these up. 5 main ways to rent a Brigantine short-term rental property.

  • AirBnB.
  • VRBO.
  • Real Estate agent deals.
  • Private rentals.
  • Websites that market properties.
Air BnB Ventnor Brigantine
Tracking short-term rental data.

Short-term rentals are big business in Brigantine. Active rentals made through AirBnB and VRBO averaged a total of 740 properties as of July 4, 2023. This number doesn’t include rentals transacted by local real estate offices and those rented privately.

According to AirDNA, the top property managers in Brigantine have 50+ listings for commercial STR use.

Why doesn’t Brigantine enforce local ordinance that’s been in effect for 6+ years?

Mayor Sera slow-walking issue. Hand-selected, ‘stakeholder committee’ to discuss further.

Brigantine’s Mayor Vince Sera admits his city rarely enforces current law to it’s full potential.

Neighbors use the term animal house when describing STR’s. Brigantine Zoning & Code enforcement calls them resort houses; residentially styled structure used, maintained, marketed, promoted and/or advertised as destination location available for rent, lease or sub-lease for gathering of invited guests for functions and special events.

A resort house is a commercial use appropriate only in areas zoned for hotel/motel use. Never has been permitted as a legal use under existing Brigantine ordinance standards.

Changes and improvements that need to be addressed within Brigantine City Hall:

  • Inadequate rental license application process
  • No follow-up on use of license
  • Lack of law knowledge by employees
  • Inadequate record-keeping; communication w/ public, inter-department.
  • Need for additional fees and employees regarding rentals.

Brigantine resident Andrea Sullivan deserves thanks for getting the facts, alerting the public and questioning City Council about these illegal commercial activities within residential neighborhoods.

Commercial activities in a residential zone should not be permitted. Those violating local law via STR, tarnish Brigantine’s reputation as a great place to live, visit and invest.

Thanks to Anne H. Phillips of the Brigantine Taxpayers Association.

Author

16 thoughts on “Ventnor & Brigantine Facing Short-Term Rental Revolt”

  1. Unfortunately people think buying homes as an investment property helps the “neighborhood”.

    There should be a designated hotline number 24/7 to call anonymously and report. Ventnor is controlled by the same people who own these investment properties.

    Just google who’s on the board and their personal gain in these rentals. It’s all politics and the homeowners suffer.

  2. I understand how disruptive these STRs can be to our traditional shore way of life. Something more needs to be done to restrict them.

    Last week I started hearing for the first time about STRs in Margate and see a reference to them in today’s article.

    Where and under what restrictions are they allowed in Margate?

    1. “Your traditional shore way of life” ? Ah yes. As in, still stuck in the 1970s and looking down on anyone who doesn’t live there all year round. There, fixed that for you.

      To be clear, controls and most of all the consistent enforcement of rules on STRs is needed, no doubt. Done well and appropriately there is a happy medium that allows rentals and a revenue stream (fees, licenses, taxes) associated with these rentals.

      1. “Traditional” as in every home is owned by a mix of full/part-time owners, who are friendly, respectful and family oriented.

        No STRs. No bizarre behavior from owners or their guests in the 15 years we’ve been here.

  3. Up until the past year I didn’t have much of a gripe with STRS or the services and realtors seemed to had a pretty good handle on the situation.

    But things have changed since then.

    Standards seem to be slipping and profits are displacing vigilance and concern for the neighborhoods these rentals are happening.

    Much better controls need to be instituted or this situation will just worsen.

  4. These shore towns are run by locals but financially supported largely by second home owners. The locals need to understand not to bite the hand that feeds them…

    Furthermore, the data quality on number of STRs isn’t great. They’re hard to count. If you occasionally rent on a platform you may get included the same way as someone who rents every weekend. It probably isn’t as prevalent as the drama queens would have you believe.

    1. I disagree. I don’t think it’s as simple as the number or frequency of rentals that an owner does – it’s their integrity and intention. And thats the same whether they are locals or seasonal/rental business entities.

      Do they have clear rules in place in their contracts like numbers of guests? Video monitoring? Screening? Or is it just pretty much anything goes with no supervision and overpaid?

  5. These beach towns in Atlantic County are becoming like the beach towns in Cape May County.

    Most of the residents are second homeowners and the homes are very, very expensive and they spend about 3 months a year there.

    The other homes are being rented out with these STRs.

    The year-round resident is getting squeezed out.

    And it will kinky get worse for the year-round resident.

    SMH

  6. The best thing is to keep reporting bad actors. (e.g., call the police in certain situations).

    Make complaints online so that it hurts them for not ensuring proper responsibility. What hurts them are reviews.

    I live next to two STRs and four others one block each way. Not every STR customer is bad, but you just need one to ruin it.

    The sad part is that it reduces available homes to buy for people that want to live here year round or second homeowners.

  7. Shore towns like Ventnor Margate and Longport have always had some rentals. These were generally for the summer or at least a couple of weeks at a time. Usually realtors were involved in renting these properties and with that came accountability.

    This new breed of short term rentals are clearly different. They are strictly businesses that try to maximize their profits on the backs of the municipalities they are in. Fees and taxes paid by.

    The short term rental will never even come close to covering the added costs incurred by the community because of these unregulated businesses. In the long run short term rentals Will not only be devastating to the community, but have a drastic negative affect on all other businesses in the community.

    Most short-term renters don’t spend their dollars in our communities. and or a cause of added expenses with added police, trash, and enforcement needed to deal with the problems that these businesses create.

    Ultimately, short-term rentals are a parasite on the community. Running a business at the expense of the community. Other businesses are required to have private trash removal, and have off street parking to accommodate their business.

    Should be taxed like a business not a residence.

    Short-term rentals add no benefits to the community. 100% negative for the community. Only benefits mostly absentee landlords.

    This is dramatically different compared with rentals that always existed in our community.

    Ventnor going to a 3 night rental minimum is not sufficient. It should be changed to a 7 night minimum, all year long, not just during summer.

    Number of licenses issued by city should be capped. Number of short term rentals allowed in each block should only be one.

    Enforcement of regulations must be stepped up. Greater penalties for violations. If not, Ventnor will turn into Wildwood with nothing but mini, unregulated motels.

    Maybe we’ll have arcade games on our boardwalk next. I hope not.

    As long as Ventnor has fewer restrictions than Margate and Longport, Ventnor will continue to be taken advantage of. It will attract more STR businesses and the least desirable short-term renters

  8. I’m 100% in line with the complaints that adjoining owners are having pertaining to Air B & B and Short term rentals. I 100% agree that I wish Ventnor commissioners had gone to a 7 day minimum rental but I at least give the Ventnor Commissioners credit for saying this year is an experiment year.

    As a long time real estate investor who doesn’t ever do short term rentals, I of course hear the positions of the people that rent their properties for short term basis. However, they need to step up to the plate and make sure their properties are not creating a problem in the neighborhoods.

    The key is simple here, this is an experiment year. If you are having a problem with a situation near where you live you need to monitor the situation.

    You have the legal right to call the building department at 609-823-7987 at any time and give them the address and they will look up and tell you how many bedrooms that unit is and what the maximum number of occupants that are allowed.

    If your observation tells you that is not being followed and there’s over crowding, you need to call the office and file a complaint.

    The code enforcement office is also willing to accept an anonymous complaints if you wish. What you should NOT do, is do nothing. If it is a noise issue then that issue is addressed by the Ventnor police.

    Of course the one problem that I see is that the code enforcement office is not open on Saturday and Sunday when no doubt 95% of the problems will occur.

    Obviously more people need to attend Commissioner meeting and also email the commissioners and tell them that we need a weekend number that we can call so that a disturbing issue, especially with overcrowding, can be investigated by the City when the issue actually is taking place.

    That weekend contact number will be a major help. The police department will not get involved with any other issue then a noise or illegal activity issue.

    If we want to see these problem properties not be allowed to continue we all need to get involved in our community. Complaining and doing nothing is not a solution.

    In closing, I’m not at all sure what the actual regulations are as to if there are numerous complaints and when does an owner get fined or is not allowed to continue to rent there units. That is an issue that needs to be 100% clear in the future and should be on the Ventnor web site.

    Please remember, bitching and doing nothing is a mistake.

    Richard Gober, richardgober@comcast.net

  9. louis marcozzi

    there are families that can not afford to rent for seven days, but would like to at lease bring their children to the shore for a couple days, please keep this in mind. thankyou

  10. Do you care about the low income families or do you just want to be able to take advantage of them and make money off of them?

    1. louis marcozzi

      Jill, i don’t own property at the shore,i live pay check to pay check. if you are a shore owner, god blessed you. have a nice day.

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