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Jul 10, 2017 5:36 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Montauk Homeowner Pleads Guilty To Allowing Illegal Share House

Jul 11, 2017 1:58 PM

A Montauk homeowner pleaded guilty to 26 misdemeanor counts of violating the East Hampton Town code on Monday afternoon by allowing an illegal share house at his residence last year.

Thomas Mahl, owner of 13 Beech Hollow Court, pleaded guilty before Justice Lisa R. Rana in East Hampton Town Justice Court. In accordance with the plea agreement, Mr. Mahl was ordered to pay $15,000 and bring his property into compliance with town building and zoning codes.

He was represented by attorney Brian Matthews of East Hampton, while the Town of East Hampton was represented by Assistant Town Attorneys Hope DeLauter and NancyLynn Thiele.

“Our town will not tolerate violations of our town code, especially those sections designed to protect the health, safety and welfare of our single-family neighborhoods and community at large,” said Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell in a press release. “I commend our Public Safety Department and our town attorneys for bringing this case to a successful conclusion and putting a stop to the use of this premises as a share house.”

Members of the Town Public Safety Department and East Hampton Town Police executed a search warrant at the three-bedroom house on September 3, 2016, and found that the basement and pool house had been illegally converted to make six additional bedrooms. The basement bedrooms were found to not have smoke detectors nor sufficient windows for an emergency escape.

Eighteen people had been living at the house illegally after one of the tenants, Alina Gersham, had rented out the bedrooms to the other occupants for up to $1,800 per room for a weekend. Ms. Gersham had pleaded guilty to numerous misdemeanors, which led to a $20,000 fine she paid months earlier.

“Beyond the disruption that this homeowner caused to his neighborhood, he and his tenant created a very dangerous condition that could have turned tragic in an instant,” Mr. Cantwell said in the release. “The substantial fines, and the agreed-upon rights of the town to return to inspect the property, shall ensure future compliance at this location and serve as a deterrent to any other property owners and tenants who choose illicit profits at the expense of public safety.”

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This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By mtkfish (59), montauk on Jul 11, 17 9:08 PM
He got what he deserved, ruining our quality of life just to be greedy! This is nothing new for him he just doesn't care about the residents of Montauk. What a scab
By mtkfishman (76), montauk on Jul 12, 17 1:01 PM