Owners of short-term rentals object to new rules


Nicholas LaSorsa stands on the steps of the 1867 North Church, his short-term rental property in Queensbury in September. LaSorsa will put the church on the market due to Queensbury’s new short-term rental rules, which come into effect on January 1.

Gretta Hochsprung

QUEENSBURY – The owner of a short-term rental property in Queensbury is ready to sell due to new city rules which come into effect on January 1.

Nicholas LaSorsa, who bought, remodeled and turned the historic North Church at 2283 Ridge Road into a rental property, announces the site this week, saying the city single-handedly crushed his dream of having a future in the Adirondacks. .

In June, the City Council updated its short-term rental rules imposing a five-day minimum for all renters during the high season from April 15 to September 15, with short-term rental operators only allowed to rent only 120 days a year.

There are 886 short-term listings in Warren County and 88 in Queensbury, according to the county. The regulations are meant to prevent “weekend warriors” from disturbing other residents of a neighborhood.

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“If they were so concerned about people coming over for the weekend and causing trouble, why wouldn’t the same law apply to hotels or other accommodations?” LaSorsa said. “They don’t, and they don’t have any data to back up anything they do.”

LaSorsa said the city has no way to enforce the new regulations.

“If they were concerned about bad actors, they should have written a law that goes after bad actors,” said LaSorsa, who added that the current owners should have been grandfathered. “A lot of people made investments based on the old set of rules, and then all of a sudden they changed the rules of the game.

Queensbury supervisor John Strough said he had heard no complaints from other short-term rental owners other than LaSorsa. Strough said LaSorsa should have waited to see if the new law had any effect on his business.

“People who live next to these short-term rentals didn’t think we were going far enough,” Strough said. “And then you have the people who are in the short-term rental business who say they don’t like the limitations. We listened to both parties and thought we’d offer something that would make things better. Of course, your short-term tenants aren’t going to like that, they don’t want any limitations.

Strough said LaSorsa’s church property, which is secluded, would likely pose no problem for neighbors.

“But when we make laws, we don’t make them for particular individuals,” Strough said, “we make them for the big picture, the big picture.”

Katelyn Moskos, owner and CEO of Northern Living, owns and manages vacation rental properties in Warren and Washington counties. She launched a website called Hands Off Our Homes to address proposed short-term rental regulations in both Fort Ann and Queensbury.

“I realize the concerns of some neighbors, however, those concerns come from inappropriate hosts,” Moskos said. “But the law they apply affects everyone.”

Many landlords rely on rental income, which enabled them to buy the property in the first place, she said.

“They bought the house under one rule and now the rule has completely changed for them,” Moskos said. “You go from 365 days of availability to 120.”

The new rules will hurt taxpayers by crippling off-season tourism, reducing the occupancy tax collected by the county. And landlords will be renting under the table to circumvent regulations and therefore not subject any occupancy tax, she said.

“It’s going to hurt local off-season businesses,” she said, “and it’s going to hurt taxpayers’ pockets by not generating the revenue we’ve generated for the past two years.”

She called the new short-term rental rules “too broad”.

“Once your property rights are taken,” Moskos said, “they usually aren’t returned.”

Gretta Hochsprung writes features and news from her hometown. She can be reached at 518-742-3206 or ghochsprung@poststar.com.


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