[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of East Brunswick 9-14-2020 by Ord. No. 20-20. Amendments noted where applicable.]
In accordance with New Jersey law, a municipality may make and enforce within its limits all ordinances and regulations not in conflict with general laws as it may deem necessary and proper for the good government, order and protection of persons and property, and for the preservation of the public health, safety and welfare of the municipality and its inhabitants. The Township of East Brunswick hereby adopts the within ordinance in accordance with said authority.
The following terms shall have the meanings indicated below:
- A single detached dwelling that provides sleeping accommodation (including breakfast and other meals, services, facilities and amenities) for the travelling or vacationing public in up to three guest rooms within said single detached dwelling that is the principal residence of the proprietor of the establishment.
- DWELLING UNIT
- Any room or group of rooms located within a dwelling and forming a single habitable unit with facilities which are used or designed for living, sleeping, cooking and eating, bathing and toilet purposes.
- An individual or entity holding title to a property proposed for short-term rental, by way of a legally recorded deed.
- The owner of the property resides in the short-term rental property (hereinafter "STRP"), or in the principal residential unit with which the STRP is associated on the same lot, and identifies same as his or her principal residence as that term is defined in this section. If the owner of the property is an entity other than an individual or individuals, then at least one principal or member of the owner entity must reside in the STRP, or in the principal residential unit with which the STRP is associated on the same lot, and identify same as his or her principal residence as that term is defined in this section.
- PRINCIPAL RESIDENCE
- The address: 1) where at least one of the property owners spends the majority of his or her non-working time, and 2) which is most clearly the center of his or her domestic life, and 3) which is identified on his or her driver's license or State Identification Card as being his or her legal address. All the above requirements must be met in order for an address to constitute a principal residence for purposes of this chapter.
- PROHIBITED SHORT-TERM RENTAL
- The accessory use of a dwelling unit for occupancy by someone other than the unit's owner or permanent resident for a period of less than 30 consecutive days, which dwelling unit is regularly used and kept open as such for the lodging of guests, and which is advertised or held out to the public as a place regularly rented to transient occupants, as that term is defined in this section.
- A parcel of real property located within the boundaries of the Township of East Brunswick, Middlesex County, New Jersey.
- RESPONSIBLE PARTY
- Both the short-term rental property owner and a person (property manager) designated by the owner to be called upon and be responsible at all times during the period of a short-term rental and to answer for the maintenance of the property, or the conduct and acts of occupants of the short-term rental property, and, in the case of the property manager, to accept service of legal process on behalf of the owner of the short-term rental property.
- SHORT-TERM RENTAL (hereinafter "STR")
- The accessory use of a dwelling unit for occupancy by someone other than the unit's owner or permanent resident for a period of no less than 30 and no more than 180 consecutive days, which dwelling unit is regularly used and kept open as such for the lodging of guests, and which is advertised or held out to the public as a place regularly rented to transient occupants, as that term is defined in this section.
- SHORT-TERM RENTAL PROPERTY (hereinafter "STRP")
- A residential dwelling unit, as defined above, that is used and/or advertised for rent as a short-term rental by transient occupants as guests, as those terms are defined in this section. Dwelling units rented to the same occupant for more than 30 continuous days, bed-and-breakfast establishments, licensed rooming or boarding houses, hotels, and motels shall not be considered "short-term rental property."
- SHORT-TERM RENTAL PROPERTY AGENT
- Any New Jersey licensed real estate agent or other person designated and charged by the owner of a short-term rental property, with the responsibility for making the short-term rental application to the Township on behalf of the owner, and fulfilling all of the obligations in connection with completion of the short-term rental property permit application process on behalf of the owner. Such person shall be available for and responsive to contact on behalf of the owner at all times.
- TRANSIENT OCCUPANT
- Any person or a guest or invitee of such person, who, in exchange for compensation, occupies or is in actual or apparent control or possession of residential property, which is either: 1) registered as a short-term rental property, or 2) satisfies the definition of a short-term rental property, as such term is defined in this section. It shall be a rebuttable presumption that any person who holds themselves out as being an occupant or guest of an occupant of the short-term rental is a transient occupant.
It shall be unlawful for any owner of any property within the geographic bounds of the Township of East Brunswick, Middlesex County, New Jersey, to rent or operate a short-term rental or short-term rental property in a manner that is contrary to the procedures and regulations established in this chapter or applicable state statute. Prohibited short-term rentals shall not be permitted within the Township of East Brunswick.
Short-term rentals shall be permitted to be conducted in the following classifications of property in the Township of East Brunswick, and only within the limitations imposed herein:
Condominium units, where the condominium association bylaws or master deed permit a short-term rental, and where the owner of the unit legally identifies the address as his or her principal residence; and
Individually or collectively owned single-family residences, which one of the owners legally identifies as the address of his or her principal residence; and
One unit within a two-family residential dwelling, where the other unit is occupied by the owner and legally identified by the owner as his or her principal residence; and
No more than one unit in any multifamily residential dwelling, where one other unit in the same dwelling is occupied by the owner and legally identified by the owner as his or her principal residence, as that term is defined herein; and
No more than one room within a single-family residential dwelling unit, where the room shares common kitchen and bathroom facilities with the occupant of the dwelling unit, and the remainder of the single-family dwelling unit is occupied by the owner and is legally identified by the owner as his or her principal residence, as that term is defined herein.
Short-term rental of the following properties is prohibited:
Condominiums or townhomes, where the condominium association bylaws or master deed, or condominium rules and regulations, do not permit such short-term rental of condominium units in the development; and
An individually or collectively owned single-family residential dwelling unit, which address none of the owners legally identify as their principal residence; and
A unit in a two-family residential dwelling, where the other unit is not occupied by the owner nor legally identified by the owner as his or her principal residence; and
Two or more units in a multifamily residential dwelling, where one of the other units is not occupied by the owner nor legally identified by the owner as his or her principal residence; and
A room or multiple individual rooms within a single-family, two-family or multifamily residential dwelling unit, where the room shares common kitchen and bathroom facilities with the occupant(s) of the dwelling unit in which it is located, which occupant(s) is neither the owner of the dwelling unit nor identifies the remainder of the dwelling unit in the single-family, two-family or multifamily residence as his or her principal residence.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to short-term rentals as defined in § 182-2 above. The following do not qualify as a privately-owned residential dwelling unit, as that term is used herein, and therefore do not need to obtain a short-term rental permit pursuant to this chapter: any hotel, motel, studio hotel, public or private club, bed-and-breakfast, convalescent home, rest home, home for aged people, boarding houses, rooming houses, dormitories, adult family care homes, assisted living facilities, community residences for developmentally disabled persons, foster homes, community shelters for victims of domestic violence, nursing homes, halfway house, transitional housing facility, or other similar facility operated for the care, treatment, or reintegration into society of human beings; any housing owned or controlled by an educational institution and used exclusively to house students, faculty or other employees with or without their families; any housing operated or used exclusively for religious, charitable or educational purposes; or any housing owned by a governmental agency and used to house its employees or for governmental purposes.
In addition to any land use requirement(s) set forth in the Township of East Brunswick Land Use Regulations, the owner/operator of a short-term rental property shall obtain a short-term rental permit from the Township of East Brunswick Department of Planning & Engineering, before renting or advertising for rent any short-term rental. The application for a short-term rental permit must meet the following initial minimum requirements to be considered for processing by the Township:
For existing short-term rentals, the applicant must not have had more than two documented and verified instances where the East Brunswick Police have been called to address complaints of any type attributable to the short-term rental within the last two years; and
For existing short-term rentals, the applicant must have no violations of the Township of East Brunswick's Noise Ordinance within the last two years. A violation of the Noise Ordinance means a documented violation by the Township of East Brunswick Municipal Court; and
The applicant must be current with all Township taxes, water and sewage charges; and
The applicant must have no open violations from the Township of East Brunswick's Code Enforcement.
No person or entity shall operate a STRP, or advertise a residential property for use as a STRP, without the owner/operator of the property first having obtained a STR permit issued by the Township of East Brunswick Department of Planning & Engineering. The failure to obtain a valid STR permit prior to advertising the short-term rental property in any print, digital, or internet advertisement or web-based platform, and/or in the Multiple Listing Service (hereinafter "MLS") or any realtor's property listing shall be a violation of this chapter. No STR permit issued under this section may be transferred or assigned or used by any person or entity, other than the owner to whom it is issued, or at any property location or dwelling unit other than the property for which it is issued.
An owner of property, intended to serve as a short-term rental property, as defined herein, or any agent acting on behalf of the owner, shall submit to the Township of East Brunswick Department of Planning & Engineering a short-term rental permit application provided by the Township, along with an annual application/registration fee of $250. Said fee shall be nonrefundable, including in the event that the application is denied. The short-term rental permit, if granted, shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of issuance.
A short-term rental permit shall be submitted by the owner for renewal on an annual basis, based upon the anniversary of the original permit issuance, by submitting to the Department of Planning & Engineering a short-term rental permit application, and a renewal registration fee of $250.
The short-term rental permit shall expire automatically when the short-term rental property changes ownership, and a new initial application and first-time registration fee will be required in the event that the new owner intends to use the property as a short-term rental property. A new application and first-time registration fee shall also be required for any short-term rental that had its short-term rental permit revoked or suspended.
Applicants for a short-term rental permit shall submit, on an annual basis, an application for a short-term rental permit to the Township of East Brunswick Department of Planning & Engineering. The application shall be submitted, under oath, on a form specified by said Department, accompanied by the nonrefundable application fee as set forth in § 182-4 above. Such application shall include:
The name, address, telephone number and email address of the owner(s) of record of the dwelling unit for which a permit is sought. If such owner is not a natural person, the application must include and identify the names of all shareholders, members, partners, officers and/or directors of any such entity, and the personal contact information, including address, email address and telephone numbers for each of them;
The address of the unit to be used as a short-term rental;
A copy of the driver's license or State Identification Card of the owner of the short-term rental property, confirming, as set forth in this chapter, that the property is the principal residence, of the owner making application for the STR permit;
The owner's sworn acknowledgement that they comply with the requirement that the short-term rental property constitutes the owner's principal residence;
The name, address, telephone number and email address of the short-term rental property agent, which shall constitute his or her seven-day-a-week, twenty-four-hour-a-day contact information;
The name, address, telephone number and email address of the short-term rental property responsible party, which shall constitute his or her seven-day-a-week, twenty-four-hour-a-day contact information;
The owner's sworn acknowledgement that he or she has received a copy of this chapter, has reviewed it, understands its requirements and certifies, under oath, as to the accuracy of all information provided in the permit application;
The number and location of all parking spaces available to the premises, which shall include the number of legal off-street parking spaces and on-street parking spaces directly adjacent to the premises. The owner shall certify that every effort will be made to avoid and/or mitigate issues with on-street parking in the neighborhood in which the short-term rental is located, resulting from excessive vehicles generated by the short-term rental of the property, in order to avoid a shortage of parking for residents in the surrounding neighborhood;
The owner's agreement that all renters of the short-term rental property shall be limited to one vehicle per two occupants in the short-term rental property;
The owner's agreement to use his or her best efforts to assure that use of the premises by all transient occupants will not disrupt the neighborhood, and will not interfere with the rights of neighboring property owners to the quiet enjoyment of their properties; and
Any other information that this chapter requires a property owner to provide to the Township in connection with an application for a rental certificate of occupancy. The Business Administrator, or his designee, shall have the authority to obtain additional information from the STRP owner/applicant or amend the permit application to require additional information, as necessary, to achieve the objectives of this chapter.
The Township may, but shall not be required to conduct annual inspections for the STRP's compliance with the Township's fire safety regulations and property maintenance code. In addition, each application may be subject to review to verify the STRP's eligibility for use as a short-term rental and compliance with the requirements in this chapter.
For a condominium unit owner submitting a short-term rental permit application, a letter from the Condominium Association confirming that the Condominium Association bylaws or master deed, or condominium rules and regulations permit short-term rentals must be submitted with the application.
A sworn statement shall be required stating that there have been no prior revocations or suspensions of this or a similar license. In the event of prior revocations or suspensions, a permit shall not be issued, which denial may be appealed as provided hereinafter.
Attached to and concurrent with submission of the permit application described in this chapter, the owner shall provide:
Proof of the owner's current ownership of the short-term rental unit;
Proof of general liability insurance in a minimum amount of $500,000; and
Written certifications from the owner, or short-term rental property agent, and responsible party, as applicable, that they agree to perform all of the respective duties specified in this chapter.
The STRP owner/permit holder shall publish the short-term rental permit number issued by the Township in every print, digital, or internet advertisement, and/or in the MLS or other real estate listing of a real estate agent licensed by the New Jersey Real Estate Commission, in which the short-term rental property is advertised for rent on a short-term basis.
Each and every time there is a change of occupancy by transient occupants during the year the STRP owner, or STRP agent, must provide the Township with information as to the identity of all transient occupants who will be occupying the unit, on a form to be made available by the Department of Planning & Engineering or in electronic format on the Township website. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that the Township shall have basic identifying information of all occupants of the STRP at all times, which information shall include the occupant's or occupants' names and ages, the adult occupants contact information including phone number and email address and the dates of the commencement and expiration of the term of each short-term rental period of the respective occupant(s).
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:48F-1 et seq., when each and every short-term rental ends or there is a change of occupancy by transient occupants, the STRP owner, in addition to the state sales tax and state occupancy fee, shall be subject to a 3% municipal occupancy tax. This subsection shall only apply to such short-term rentals that are obtained through a transient space marketplace or a professionally managed unit.
[Amended 12-14-2020 by Ord. No. 20-29]
In no event shall a short-term rental property be rented to anyone younger than 21 years of age. The primary occupant of all short-term rentals executing the agreement between the owner and the occupant must be over the age of 21, and must be the party who will actually occupy the property during the term of the short-term rental. The primary occupant may have guests under the age of 21 who will share and occupy the property with them. Both the primary occupant executing the short-term rental agreement and the STRP owner shall be responsible for compliance with this provision, and shall both be liable for a violation, where the property is not occupied by at least one adult over the age of 21, during the term of the short-term rental.
Once an application is submitted, complete with all required information and documentation and fees, the Department of Planning & Engineering, following any necessary investigation for compliance with this chapter, shall issue the short-term rental permit, or issue a written denial of the permit application (with the reasons for such denial being stated therein), within 10 business days.
If denied, the applicant shall have 10 business days to appeal the denial, in writing, to the Office of the Township Business Administrator.
Within 30 days after receipt of such appeal, the Business Administrator or his designee shall hear and decide the appeal.
All short-term rentals must comply with all applicable rules, regulations and ordinances of the Township of East Brunswick and all applicable rules, regulations and statutes of the State of New Jersey, including regulations governing such lodging uses, as applicable. The STRP owner shall ensure that the short-term rental is used in a manner that complies with all applicable laws, rules and regulations pertaining to the use and occupancy of a short-term rental.
The owner of the STRP shall notify the Township of any change in occupancy by providing the Township with the name and contact information for the STRP tenant.
A dwelling unit shall be limited to a single short-term rental contract at a time.
The owner of a STRP shall not install any advertising or identifying mechanisms, such as signage, including lawn signage, identifying the property for rent as a short-term rental property.
Transient occupants of the STRP shall comply with all ordinances of the Township of East Brunswick including, but not limited to, those ordinances regulating noise and nuisance conduct. Failure of transient occupants to comply shall subject the transient occupants, the owner of the STRP, the responsible party and the short-term rental agent listed in the short-term rental permit application to the issuance of fines and/or penalties and the possibility of the revocation or suspension of the STRP permit.
The owner of a STRP shall post the following information in a prominent location within the short-term rental:
Owner name; if owner is an entity, the name of a principal in the entity, and phone number for the owner (individual);
The names and phone numbers for the responsible party and the short-term rental agent (as those terms are defined in this chapter);
The phone numbers for the Department of Public Safety, the Township of East Brunswick Department of Planning & Engineering, Office of Inspections and Enforcement;
The maximum number of parking spaces available on site;
Trash and recycling pick-up day, and all applicable rules and regulations regarding trash disposal and recycling;
Notification that a guest, transient occupant, the short-term rental property agent, the responsible party or STRP owner may be cited or fined by the Township of East Brunswick Department of Public Safety, or the Township of East Brunswick Department of Planning & Engineering, for violations of, and in accordance with any applicable Ordinance(s) of the Township of East Brunswick;
In the event that any complaints are received by the East Brunswick Department of Public Safety, or the Department of Planning & Engineering regarding the short-term rental and/or the transient occupants in the STRP, and the owner of the STRP is unreachable or unresponsive, both the responsible party and the short-term rental agent listed in the short-term rental permit application shall have the responsibility to take any action required to properly resolve such complaints, and shall be authorized by the STRP owner to do so.
While a STRP is rented, the owner, the short-term rental agent, or the responsible party shall be available 24 hours per day, seven days per week for the purpose of responding within two hours to complaints regarding the condition of the STRP premises, maintenance of the STRP premises, operation of the STRP, or conduct of the guests at the STRP, or nuisance complaints from the Department of Public Safety, or neighbors, arising by virtue of the short-term rental of the property.
If the STRP is the subject of two or more substantiated civil and/or criminal complaints, the Business Administrator or his designee may revoke the short-term rental permit issued for the property, in which case, the STRP may not submit a new STRP permit application for one year following the date of revocation of the permit.
Failure to make application for, and to obtain the issuance of, a short-term rental permit prior to advertising the STRP in print publications or newspapers, on any internet-based booking platforms, or online, and/or in the MLS or other real estate listing of a real estate agent licensed by the New Jersey Real Estate Commission, shall be equivalent to operation of the STRP without a permit, and shall constitute a violation of this Code, and will result in enforcement action and the issuance of a summons, and shall subject the STRP owner, the short-term rental agent, and the responsible party to issuance of fines and/or penalties.
The person offering a dwelling unit for short-term rental use must be the owner of the dwelling unit. A tenant of a property may not apply for a short-term rental permit, nor shall the property or any portion thereof be sub-leased by the tenant on a short-term basis, or operated as a STRP by the tenant. This STRP regulation shall supersede any conflicting provision in a private lease agreement permitting sub-leasing of the property, or any portion of the property. Violation of this section will result in enforcement action against the tenant, the STRP owner, the short-term rental agent, and the responsible party, and will subject all such parties to the issuance of a summons and levying of fines and/or penalties.
In the event that the Township receives three substantiated complaints concerning excessive vehicles belonging to the transient occupants of a STRP, the short-term rental permit for the property is subject to revocation by the Business Administrator or his designee.
The STRP owner must be current with all tax, water and sewer charges assessed to the property prior to the issuance of a short-term rental permit. In the event that any code violations have been issued by the Township relating to the STRP, a short-term rental permit shall not be issued until such time as such violations have been properly abated. The STRP owner must also close any open construction permits for the property prior to the issuance of a short-term rental permit.
All fines or penalties issued by the Municipal Court for the Township of East Brunswick for any past code violations relating to the STRP, including penalties for failure to appear in Court, must be satisfied in full prior to the issuance of a short-term rental permit.
A violation of any provision of this chapter may subject the STRP owner, transient occupant(s), the short-term property rental agent, and the responsible party or their agents to fines assessed by the Court as follows: