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Posts Tagged ‘Airbnb in Ocean Grove’

A perfect potential Ocean Groovy Airbnb rental–all the charm of our special town. Blogfinger photo. ©  (This is not actually an Airbnb rental; just an illustration)

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger  At the bottom of this post is a 2019 update and a 2021  update..

In a recent “just wondering” segment, we began to consider the facts surrounding the new rental phenomenon where people in town can turn their homes into impromptu hotels, making fast money by renting living spaces for short visits—even just one night.

Or course, there have always been rentals, especially summertime, in Ocean Grove, going back to the town’s founding when there was a huge religious tourism industry along with many rooming houses and hotels.

But now, all over the world, homeowners are accepting tenants who connect with others on the Internet—Airbnb has an app.

A hotel owner in the Grove (Nov. 2019)  has told Blogfinger that the Airbnb phenomenon has hurt business for those OG hotels that pay taxes, salaries and expenses year round.

According to one Grover, this has become a problem because these Airbnbers ride into town and expect hotel amenities.  They don’t know our rules and customs and they bring parties with them.  Some think that this phenomenon threatens our neighborhoods.

But, regarding the rules of the road, Neptune Township has control, and I have spoken to Code Enforcement.

The fact is that Airbnb rentals in Ocean Grove are no different than any other short term rentals in town:

You may not rent a room.  You may rent an apartment or a house, but with each rental, a CI  (Certificate of Inspection) is required.  If you are doing rapid turnovers, such as one night at at a time, you must renew the CI with each rental.

 

August 24, 2019 update:

August 2019:     Airbnb.   Check their website. Currently there are 118 listings for Ocean Grove.  There are  14,000 homes, apartments, condos, etc. available for Airbnb in NJ.

Of the 25 top NJ towns,  (NJ.com) over half are at the shore.  OG is not listed, but Asbury Park is.   Starting in October renters must charge the New Jersey 6.625% sales tax and the 5% hotel occupancy fee.   VRBO is another online service.

Demand  for rentals of all kinds will increase in OG and the rest of the Shore.

Many young couples who want to live at the shore prefer to rent instead of buy. Also many new home buyers are not interested in our town other than as a cash cow for rental properties at the beach.  Realtors could help us out with this, but will they contact Blogfinger?

The CMA is planning to make its programming year-round, and those religious tourists will need housing, and the new North End “boutique” hotel may not be so appealing now that Airbnb is in town.  It may actually never be built or it might take years.

How housing evolves in the Grove will reflect changing demographics and lifestyles of those who live here and those who are just passing through.

We know what happened when the gays clashed with the CMA in 2007,  but what will happen if  the CMA clashes with the residential secular community?

Parking may become the turning point issue regarding the future of the Grove.

 

2021 update:  Of course the pandemic has resulted in a rental frenzy in the Grove. And those rentals are still hot and expensive.  One small cottage on the south side just booked an October rental for 10 days for $2,500.00.

House prices have risen to unbelievable levels in the Grove.  Some say that Grover home owners can get an average of $100,000 more for their home compared to what they could have received a few years ago.

On our North End street near Firemen’s Park, we often see new faces—renters and sometimes new owners.  It is now September, but the place is alive with events, visitors and renters.  And now, in addition to Airbnb, there is VRBO.

Change is inevitable, so let’s get the facts straight.

 

 

JOE WILLIAMS imagining an autumn rental in quaint OG:

 

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This group rented in the Grove—Halloween. But they don’t need parking. They fly about, Airbnb style.   Paul Goldfinger photo. c.2018 Heck Ave.

 

TO THE EDITOR:   (Click on letter to read it)

Mailed by Anonymous from an out-of-
town post office.  Scanned.   Click to read it.

 

Editor’s note:  We usually don’t accept letters which are not signed, but this Grover has written to us before with similar themes. So we have made an exception.

Others have lodged similar complaints about the short term renters who have become so frequent lately.

Here is a link to a Blogfinger post from 2020. If any of you can offer an update, please  write us at Blogfinger@verizon.net or comment below this.

 

Blogfinger on Airbnb March 2020

 

UTADA HIKARU——If OG gets too difficult, you can always fly to the moon:

 

 

 

 

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Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.net

 

During prior discussions of Airbnb’s  in OG, we learned that the practice of short term rentals is alive and well in the Grove with over 200 listings.  We also learned that many of those who live near such rental units are unhappy because those renters don’t often consider the welfare of those who actually live in those neighborhoods.   There is the perception that the quality of life around such rental units may be compromised due to noise, lack of consideration of neighborhood residents, ignorance of Grovarian customs, carelessness with garbage, parking glut, and parties with crowding.

Here is the latest from the Township.  It is from the minutes of their meeting on February 10, 2020:  Mayor Lane presiding.

The Committee discussed the hotel/motel occupancy tax. Ms. Rizzo suggested that the focus for now be on the hotels and motels with the Airbnb’s being considered at a later time. The bulk of the revenue would come from about nine hotels in the Township. Mr. Williams stated that he spoke to the NJ Division on Taxation and they clarified that this tax is referred to as an occupancy tax and not a hospitality tax.

Dr. Brantley asked why the Airbnb’s are not being considered now.

Mr. Gadaleta stated that a meeting is being set up to discuss how to identify Airbnb’s so that the tax could be charged. Mr. Anthony added that keeping up with the inspections and identification of Airbnb’s will be more of a challenge. Mr. Williams stated that the problem with doing just the hotels and motels is that the Committee would be imposing an additional tax on the people who doing things properly in terms of inspections and registration. There was discussion on whether or not this is an additional tax or merely a collection of tax by the Township that is already being paid to the state.

Mr. Gadaleta will prepare a report to clarify some of the questions about the tax.

 

During the public portion of the meeting, no one in the audience had anything to say about this topic.

Feel free to use the Blogfinger comments section to talk about this subject.  There is nowhere else that such an open dialogue can take place.  Where are the hotels, B&B’s, etc. on this topic?  Don’t they have a voice?   They are not listed on the OG Chamber of Commerce members list.

Here is a link to a 2018 poll which we ran on Blogfinger about citizen opinions regarding Airbnb’s in town:

Airbnb poll in OG

 

There are other BF articles on this subject.   Just do a search in the box at the upper right corner of our home page.  Type in “airbnb”

EDITORIAL NOTE:   This topic is about more than just Airbnb’s.   The Township, it seems, cares only about the revenue to be derived from Ocean Grove. It is the old “cash cow” syndrome. They don’t give a damn about the quality of life of those residents who live here.

You can tell from their choice of topics relative to the Airbnb issue, which is about much more than taxes.      These Neptuners are shameless in the way that they ignore the people of the Grove.

 

LEON REDBONE   “Reaching for Someone and Not Finding Anyone There.”

 

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1. Bazaar

Ladies Auxiliary bazaar. Day 2. August 2, 2019. Blogfinger photo ©. The space in the Pavilion was devoted to all clothing. Click on photos to enlarge

 

 

2.   Lake Avenue, the most picturesque walking path in the Grove, is fouled with the detritus of Canada Geese.  Something should be done–it’s disgusting and unhealthy.

 

3. Airbnb.   Check their website. Currently there are 118 listings for Ocean Grove.  There are  14,000 homes, apts, condos, etc available for Airbnb in NJ.  Of the 25 top NJ towns,  (NJ.com) over half are at the shore.  OG is not listed, but Asbury Park is.   Starting in Oct. renters must charge the New Jersey 6.625% sales tax and the 5% hotel occupancy fee.   VRBO is another online service.

 

4.  On the beach  (Ocean Grove):

Paul Goldfinger photo. August 1, 2019 ©

5.  Song of the week:

LARRY CHANCE AND THE EARLS.    From their album Back on the Streets of the Bronx

 

6.  Quote of the day:

Mayor George Fuller of McKinney, Texas on corruption in local government:

“Getting things done for one person that isn’t done for another is a form of corruption.”

 

This quote is from a short documentary by two high school students from Texas who won a national CSPAN competition for their film called “What it Means to Be an American.”  It is very worthwhile:

www.studentcam.org/winners19.htm

 

7.     Ocean Grove Area Chamber of Commercials has a community calendar or their planned events.  Go to this link:

OG Chamber web site

 

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By Paul Goldfinger,   Editor @Blogfinger

Just when you thought that we have finished defining the parking situation in the Grove, we receive an anonymous statement about a related matter.

We will call this commenter “Pupu Platter” in the absence of his/her real moniker.

“There has been trouble parking in my neighborhood for much longer than when the Liquid Church got here last weekend.

“The blossoming daily and weekly house and apartment rentals are squeezing multiple college kids and adults into small homes and apartments.

“Each has their own vehicle. I actually feel like I’m living in Belmar of old – only they have garages”

 

Editor’s note:

Pupu: The parking problems in the Grove are the gifts that keep on giving.

You raise yet another issue, referring to short term rentals, so maybe you are referring  in part to the Airbnb challenges or other similar web sites.

Aside from trouble parking, as you indicate, due to multiple tenants renting, there is the effect of short term renters on the stability of neighborhoods in the Grove.

This topic has been poorly defined in the Grove, and we need more facts and input regarding this subject.

Blogfinger has  covered this topic  before.  Use the search box at the top right to find some of our prior coverage, but we could use some informed information.  Type in “airbnb”

Here is one—a poll from last year:

airbnb in Ocean Grove a poll 2018

 

Any realtors out there want to send us a comment?

 

 

JESSICA MOLASKEY

 

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By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @ Blogfinger.net

The Asbury Park Press reports that the Governor’s new law will level the playing field so that renters  (Mom and Pop, Airbnb and anyone else who offers short term rentals) will pay a 5% occupancy tax and a 6.625% sales tax, just as the hotels and motels do.  APP link Oct 2 below.

https://www.app.com/story/money/business/consumer/2018/10/01/nj-airbnb-users-occupance-tax-real-estate-agent/1453847002/

This will raise the prices of all such rentals, and it can be a large amount of money for a family looking to spend a couple of weeks in the Grove next summer.

This has nothing to do with the recent Blogfinger debate about whether Airbnb short term rentals, even for just one night, are bad news for the town.  You can use our search box  (upper right corner) to type in Airbnb, short term rentals or other key words.

The new taxes went into effect yesterday, Oct. 1, 2018.  Do you think this is a gift of gratitude to the real estate industry?

Check our opinion poll from June:

Airbnb poll in the Grove

Excellent.  Let’s send more of our money to the Governor.  Just walk the line.

JOHNNY CASH :

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Are Airbnb renters causing density problems?  Blogfinger.net photo. ©

 

L1004920

Will all those Airbnb renters spoil our views and thus our quality of life in OG?  Blogfinger photo. ©

The letter, below, comes from an anonymous source whom we shall call “Crowded in the Grove.” He titles his inquiry “Where is our Community?”  We are reposting this article because there will soon be renewed interest in this topic. (2018)

“The impact of transient summer rentals has all but eliminated our town as a community, and we are just at the brink of becoming just one big motel. Having lived here for many years, I feel like Rip Van Winkle returning from a deep sleep, not recognizing any vestige of what once was Ocean Grove; in just a matter of two to three years, a drastic change has occurred.

“Neighbors  no longer exist, as weekly and daily transients have taken their place on both sides of my house. I no longer have neighbors with whom I can make small talk to but people I have to be suspicious of, because I do not know who they are, as they have become weekly “ships in the night.”  Many of my original neighbors have moved due to the fact that they did to want to live in a revolving motel atmosphere which these homeowners have created.

“These crammed rentals are also part of the parking problems in the Grove as they sometimes have 5 or 6 cars, and they demonstrate little regard for the the residents.

Editor’s Note:   This is a fascinating inquiry, because Airbnb has created a business model that lets any homeowner turn their house or condo or apartment into an instant make-shift hotel.

A quick (2017) survey of Airbnb.com reveals that there are currently 87 ads for Ocean Grove with daily fees of $90-$600 per night.

The homeowner supplies some amenities, but that varies.  It could include towels, linens, and soap. Two links below show some of the listings:

We don’t know if our writer is correct about the prevalence and consequences of this phenomenon in OG, but given the already tight density situation here, anything that might further cause deterioration in quality of life for residents interests us at Blogfinger.  I am a homeowner and have not (yet) noticed this situation, but most of my neighbors are year-round residents.

The new concept of instant hotels is part of what’s called the “sharing economy.”  One person has set up a business to rent out home swimming pools by the hour.

Neptune Township has no special ordinances to govern these transactions.  We are trying to find out if Code Enforcement has any rules such as certificates of occupancy.

But Ocean Township has just passed an ordinance banning short-term rentals——defined as any residential rental under 30 days*   They say that since they have no beaches, they don’t need short term rentals.   (So why are they named for the ocean?)

The Coaster quotes the Ocean Twp. ordinance:  “Short term rentals are detrimental to the community’s welfare and are prohibited  by local law because occupants of such vacation rentals do not have any connection to the community and to the residential neighborhoods in which they are visiting.”  The ordinance also says,…..”such rentals may jeopardize the community’s welfare and degrade the quality of life within the township.”

It’s not clear if the Ocean Twp rationale for banning short term rentals might apply to Ocean Grove, where short term vacation rentals in our beach town are common and could be accomplished through a realtor or a web site like Airbnb.

It seems that the presence or absence of an ocean shouldn’t make their ban OK while leaving us without one.  Anybody out there a lawyer??  Will that Ocean ruling be overturned in the spirit of Fats Waller (below)?

–Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

—*Source: The Coaster, August 10, 2017. Page 4.

FATS WALLER:   “Ain’t Nobody’s Business if I Do.”

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Internet photo

We have written about this Airbnb subject before, but this “long time resident” contacted Blogfinger on April 7 because he is “totally disgusted by the abuse of certain homeowners who are turning their homes into one night or two night stand hotels” which he calls “hometels.”

He sent a letter of complaint about this to the Neptune Township Code Enforcement Department and cc’d Blogfinger.   Here is an edited version:

1. “These overnight hometels are in arms distance of my home and growing at an alarming rate.”

2. “They are destroying Ocean Grove as a community and a place to raise children.”

3. “They are creating a nightmare with parking, and come summer, it will once again become unbearable to live in this mayhem.”

4.  Mr. Totally Disgusted asks the Township to fine and raise the taxes of those landlords who are engaged in “rental abuse” and causing a “downward spiral” in town.

He ends his letter with “Let’s keep this town residential and not a one-night-stand-stopoff.”

Here is a link to Airbnb rentals in Ocean Grove.  One example offers a one bedroom apartment, 2.5 blocks to beach, from $200/night

www.airbnb.com/s/Ocean-Grove–NJ/homes?type=apartment&listing_types%5B%5D=1&s_tag=1IQMRFvI&allow_override%5B%5D=&refinement_paths%5B%5D=%2Fhomes

Here is a Blogfinger post regarding airbnb:

Airbnb Blogfinger post summer 2017

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:   Is this a growing problem?   Do these rentals really impact our quality of life in the Grove?  Does the Township actually enforce a new Certificate of Inspection  (CI)  with each rental?  Does the township need to legislate this or just follow their existing rules?  —-PG

 

ELVIS:

 

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