Categorized | Member Updates

Member Update: June 1, 2015

Dear Homeowners,

With the ending of this semester, we have become aware of more student rental homes being put up for sale. We believe this is a direct result of several factors. One major factor are the efforts of our group remaining active and vocal along with the Town of Brookhaven cracking down on violators where they legally can. The message is out and spreading among the landlords that if you are going to rent illegally, the homeowners group will report you and the town will follow up with investigations into the allegations and assess fines for violations. The time of these landlords blatantly evading the laws is over and the landlords are well aware of 1,450 pairs of eyes watching and reporting violations. It is very difficult for landlords to reap profits, if they can not overload their rental properties illegally. Many times it can be frustrating as we watch some landlords with their “in your face” attitude when violating the laws. They are aware of the legal tightrope they are walking on. It is only a matter of time in most cases before they will be caught and fined accordingly.

There are many times the Town’s hands are tied by the NYS laws and courts and must seek other ways or violations to enforce the town codes.

We are thankful for the unwavering support of Supervisor Romaine and the Brookhaven Town Board.

Recently, Anthony and I met again with members of the Town of Brookhaven and Stony Brook University for our periodic review of the housing situation in Three Village.

The meeting was attended by Kevin Molloy from Supervisor Romaine’s office, Councilwoman Valerie Cartright, her staff, and representatives from the Brookhaven Law Department. Also in attendance providing us with current updates were three representatives from Stony Brook University, Elaine Crosson, Joan Dickinson, and the new Dean of Students.

Town of Brookhaven update included:
– working on SBCH’s compiled list of rental homes in Three Village and has recently issued summonses to many. 40 of these rental homes have been brought into compliance and another 20 are in court for violations. We have identified over 250 of these homes.
– receiving approval from the court to hold deposition hearing on 150 Christian Ave.
– working on an updated rental registration form that will narrow the rules and regulations by new and existing landlords seeking renewal.
– working on a change to the inspection process for renewal applications.
– Investigators are out there everyday working undercover to enforce the town codes.
– following up on landlords that have been taking a Star Exemption on non primary residences

Stony Brook University:
– construction is on going for new student dorms and will have 759 beds available by fall of 2016
– actively working with developers and looking at various locations for off campus housing in properly zoned areas.
– no big plans for growth in enrollment. (so far only 11 additional undergrads to be added above the usual enrollment next semester.
– established an off campus student housing committee and developing an internal on-line tool to rate landlords and working on improving their local address data base.
– new Dean of Students taking a proactive approach and has been visiting off campus houses where student parties have been held.
– off campus student advisory committee formed to teach the students about leases, landlords, safety concerns, fair housing laws and expectations of how to be a good neighbor.
– addressing traffic and safety concerns on Stony Brook Road.

We continue to have meetings with town and university regularly and everyone is working together to address the problems with student off campus housing that we have been facing.

The SBCH is committed to this cause for the long term and it will take time to unravel the off campus housing mess that was years in the making. We still need all of your support moving forward because we can not do this alone. The For Sale signs are encouraging and we have to continue to attract families into our neighborhoods. If anyone needs lawn signs we still have some available.

Thank You
Bruce

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