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Posted on: January 8, 2019

New Rental to Minors Regulations Are In Force

It is no longer acceptable, from a municipal regulatory perspective, for a parent or guardian or other adult to accept written responsibility for minors renting in Seaside Heights, typically during prom and graduation seasons, without being physically present on the premises. In the past this was known as The Hand Off, where the parent or guardian provided written assurances to the property owner but then ignored their direct supervisory responsibility for the minors, leading Seaside Heights - the police department and code enforcement division in particular - to serve as a costly form of teenage babysitting service.  Although property owners may still require parents and guardians to execute authorizations and liability acknowledgement forms as part of their business practice, the new ordinance specifically requires that at least one occupant be a minimum of 18 years of age and have the charge and responsibility for the proper and lawful conduct of the minors occupying the rental unit. The responsible person SHALL OCCUPY THE UNIT during the rental period.  This is a big responsibility for "the responsible adult occupant" and should be considered seriously now that the Borough will hold that person accountable for underage drinking, illegal drug use, fights, assaults, etc. occurring at the rental unit premises. Property owners have the burden of ensuring that the rental unit is occupied by at least one responsible adult occupant.

§179-4 Purpose

For the purpose of this article, the following meanings shall apply:

GROUP OF MINORS.  A unit of two or more individual persons under the age of 18 years.

RESPONSIBLE ADULT OCCUPANT. An individual a minimum of 18 years of age who shall occupy a rental unit with a minor or group of minors and having charge of and personal responsibility for the conduct of said minors.

§179-5 Rental restrictions

A.     In cases where any room, apartment, cottage, condominium or house is rented to one occupant, the occupant shall be a minimum of 18 years of age

B.     In cases where any room, apartment, cottage, condominium or house is rented to two or more occupants, at least one occupant shall be a minimum of 18 years of age

C.     No room, apartment, cottage, condominium or house shall be rented to, by or for any group of minors unless in compliance with the following:  

1.  Every group of minors, when occupying a room, apartment, cottage, condominium or house shall be under the immediate and personal supervision of an adult person not less than 18 years of age occupying the rental unit and having charge of and personal responsibility for the proper and lawful conduct of said minors.

2.  No landlord, realtor or owner of any room, apartment, cottage, condominium or house shall permit the same to be occupied by an individual minor or any group of minors until the provisions of this chapter have been complied with.

3.  No landlord, realtor or owner of any room, apartment, cottage, condominium or house shall permit the same to be occupied by any group of minors unless and until a lease or rental agreement is signed by the responsible adult occupant. 

4.  No lease or rental agreement shall be assigned for use by another group of minors until the provisions of this section have been satisfied.

§179-6 Violations and penalties

A.     Any minor or adult convicted of a violation of or failure to comply with any of the provisions of this Article shall be subject to a fine of up $1,000 for each offense or imprisonment for a term not to exceed 30 days, or both.  

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