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Jun 30, 2010 11:40 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Sag Harbor house busted for group rental second week in a row

Jun 30, 2010 11:40 AM

Southampton Town code enforcement officers visited a Sag Harbor house for the second time in a week on Friday and again found it occupied by a large number of young occupants, in violation of Southampton Town’s rental and safety codes.

The house, on Middle Line Highway in the Mount Misery area of Sag Harbor, is owned by James and Michele Melis and is advertised on the internet as available for daily, weekly and monthly rentals for between $400 and $1,300 per night. The house does not have a rental permit, town officials said, and rental codes do not allow transient rentals.

When code enforcement officers visited last week they found 19 individuals, all under the age of 21, in residence. This weekend there were again 19 high school-age occupants and an adult chaperone staying at the house, code enforcement officials said.

The violations resulted in the Melises being issued eight more citations for safety violations, which will be referred to the Southampton Town Justice Court.

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Mr. & Mrs. Melis should be fined heavily for their repeated irresponsible and illegal actions, and their total disregard of their neighbors. This couple's behavior is as intolerable as the helicopter noise situation.
By SagHarborBob (91), Sag Harbor on Jun 30, 10 11:27 AM
1 member liked this comment
padlock the doors
By uncleronk (136), southold on Jun 30, 10 11:41 AM
3 members liked this comment
Once again the question is did code enforcement force them to leave or do they just stay and the owners pay the fines as part of the cost of business? Why doesn't the reporter ask this seemingly basic and obvious question when reporting on this type of story?
By bird (829), Southampton on Jun 30, 10 1:02 PM
2 members liked this comment
"Southampton: Explotation at it's finest!"
Jun 30, 10 4:35 PM appended by Mr. Z
Oops, exploitation...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jun 30, 10 4:35 PM
Just wait till this weekend folks. The homeowners are raking in the $$..what's a little fine or "violation" or two or three or eight? There is no real punishment here & by the time something might happen, they will have collected their money, the "tenants" will be gone & there will be some flimsy excuse about not being able to prosecute them for one reason or another. Another weekend in the Summer Hamptons. This is nothing new & because nothing is ever done, it gets more & more out of hand each ...more
By trublnocknatmydr (35), East Hampton on Jun 30, 10 6:03 PM
2 members liked this comment
It's been a while since I checked the code, but I believe the 3rd incident = a trial with potential jail time and (I could be wrong) possible condemnation of the house until further notice.

The Town tries to have some leniency because it can be easy to accidentally violate the rental laws (no more than 4 un-related occupants) so the first time is a warning, second time is big warning and 3rd time it becomes quite serious.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jun 30, 10 9:56 PM
2 members liked this comment
These actions by the "newbie" owners is the ruination of eastern Long Island. My father in law, a farmer back in the day, said the real estate purveyors would destroy our beautiful homeland.
The leaders of the Town have no interest in....... Oh what am I saying! All the locals know that but are helpless in the face of the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United. Money talks and b........ walks! Now they Town Board love condos just to bring the traffic up a bit.
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Aug 22, 15 10:29 AM

The "fines" don't exceed the "punishment", and moreover the "proceeds".

Why do you think our ENTIRE fiscal system is out of control?


If you can affored to "F*** UP", you still turn a PROFIT.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jun 30, 10 6:31 PM
2 members liked this comment
Group rentals destroy the neighborhoods peaceful use of their property. I am not defending the property owner but sometimes these homes are rented by a couple who then do the share house for profit. The landlord then gets caught in the middle. That said there are landlords and real estate agents that cater to groups and shares and have no regard for anything except their rental income and commission. There should also be a summons avilable for those who facilitate it....
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Jul 1, 10 6:10 AM
2 members liked this comment
Well, we know code enforcement is keeping an eye on this house , and they should ! In many cases the owner is just out to make a quick buck and doesn't give a damn about what the neighbors feel or think. The best recourse is to report the violation ( excessive noise, etc. ) to the police and let them handle it. Another way to combat this BS is to obtain the owner's name and primary address and call them at 2 am or whenever the party is going full blast and let them know how you feel !
By Bill in Riverhead (190), Riverhead on Jul 1, 10 5:27 PM
2 members liked this comment
Summer Rentals Are a Headache For Everyone. John Doe Rents 5 Houses and Then Sub Rents Them Out. Pays His $1500 Dollar Fine But Clears $20,000 For Each House. He Still Makes $$$$ $100K For The Weekend....
By 1640sWhaler (74), Sag Harbor/Easthampton on Jul 1, 10 7:02 PM
So clearly the way to fix this problem is...... Raise the Fines.!
By Aspatuck Gardens (30), Westhampton Beach on Jul 1, 10 7:14 PM
On point with the numbers..... The name though is a different story, there was no whaling going on in the 1640's.
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on Jul 1, 10 8:17 PM
Its a screen name. Actually it started in 1666 by James Loper
By 1640sWhaler (74), Sag Harbor/Easthampton on May 7, 12 6:55 PM
So, as I see it, the problem here is that they advertised it. FACT IS, the Hamptons are full of houses, filled with 20-30 people renting out rooms. These people may all work together, be related, or just be here illegally, but the fact is these houses operate and this is the first I've ever heard of it in the News! Drive down your street and if there are more cars in the driveway than windows in the house, you've got a winner!!!
By BGinEH (15), East Hampton on Jul 2, 10 4:06 PM
I feel so badly for the neighbors. I had a similar situation across the street from my home a few years back, and it is HORRIBLE!!!! The landlords don't seem to care as long as they are making the big bucks and enjoying their lives in the City or wherever.
By Mrs.Sea (268), Sag Harbor on Jul 3, 10 9:40 AM
I wonder how many people are staying in this house this weekend!
By Sag Native (54), East Hampton on Jul 3, 10 10:43 PM
Obviously, the law needs more punch. In the meantime, can a vacate order be issued by code enforcement until the safety concerns are corrected? I suffered through the same and found Southampton Town sympathetic and helpful but somewhat powerless to immediately stop the situation. The age of the renters is a concern too...maybe our town board can address that situation as well.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Jul 5, 10 8:47 PM
Craigs list used to have lots of group rentals listed on it, complete with pictures and invitations to parties at bars in NYC to meet each other before buying in. In past years I passed them along to people high up at Town Hall to a chorus of yawns.
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Jul 6, 10 9:43 AM
Used to? They still do!
By Sag Native (54), East Hampton on Jul 6, 10 4:55 PM
I have a question - there's a house on Noyac Road, opposite the Southampton Cove development, that actually has a sign out front for weekend, weekly and monthly rentals. It's been there for years. Why is nothing done with those folks???? Here's a house that actually advertises on their front lawn that they are breaking the law & nothing is done.
By Ms. Jane Q. Public (147), Southampton on Jul 7, 10 8:34 AM
The Melises have not only enraged other homeowners by their lack of respect for the law but think about what they've done to the renters they've duped. This weekend a quiet, mature group of girls were planning on renting the house for a bachelorette party. The Melises told the tenants not to come this weekend (on a Thursday afternoon when the rental started Friday afternoon) and who knows if the girls will be able to find another house or hotel OR get their money back. Unbelievable.
By sagharborvisitor (1), New York on Jul 8, 10 3:09 PM
The Melises should be locked up. They have been defrauding hundreds of hardworking, respectful people who have leases and are out for the weekend to escape the city.
I am one of those people. When I went to connect with Michael about the keys rules and so forth, a week prior to our Friday arrival, we got panicked/suspicious responses.
The detective in me got to work,
1. The listing was down off ever rental site,
2. I "Google Mapped" the lease address vs. the pictures in the listing ...more
By LauraLucchetti (1), on Aug 4, 15 6:23 PM
Hi Laura, A group of friends and I attempted to rent this same property over the 4th July weekend and were scammed by The Melises aswell. He told us the day before we were due to arrive that the previous tenants destroyed the property and we could not rent it anymore. He said he would return the money which he has not done and now will not answer the phone, emails etc. Would really like to talk to you about this in more detail as I believe there are others out there and hoping we can take some joint ...more
By duncan (1), Norwalk on Aug 22, 15 9:53 AM
What can I say? I am pre internet age and always used a reputable RE agent for my business. You wanna be cheep you get cheep in in this case scammed.
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Aug 22, 15 10:35 AM