Renters Guide

Staying sane while securing a Hamptons Rental.

The Search.

  • Come Early. The best rentals DO get rented first.  Fall is actually most ideal as you can see the lawn furniture out and the condition of the yard, however most homeowners haven’t decided what their plans will be yet.

  • Search in advance on, on the other independent agency sites and on the site where all the rentals are listed. But be warned there are multiple listings there for the same property from each of the agencies so you will be inundated with repetitions.

  • Save a few favorite properties to send to your agent. Be open-minded. Pictures lie.

  • Be clear about your maximum budget and your list of must-haves and deal-breakers. Your full list of criteria is very important to you narrowing down the search.

  • Set your appointment to view the properties as soon as you have about 8 great, confirmed available choices. Delaying can result in loosing one of your better options.

  • Be honest if you have a pet. Most homeowners will accept your pet with an extra security deposit but the truth up front is essential.

  • Be. On. Time. For. Your. Appointment.


The Viewings.

  • Look inside the cupboards. Take good notes. Take your own photos. Keep track of details like the number of TVs in bedrooms, safety for children, and if a particular floor plan (two masters, all en-suites) is important then draw layouts on the listing sheets to remind yourself later.

  • Decide quickly. Pick at east one backup in case your #1 choice doesn’t pan out.

  • Learn the area for each property. Drive around a little in the neighborhood of each home on your own. Know the key attractions near each property. Don’t be focused only on distance to town, the ocean or bay. 

The Negotiation.

  • Utilities Deposit: The renter pays for all running expenses for the home during the period of the lease. This includes, Electric service, Fuel charges, Garbage pickup, Pool heating – which can become costly if you like to swim in very warm water, pool cleaning and landscaping (basic lawn cutting and flower maintenance) and a weekly house cleaning. A 10% deposit is left for these expenses based on previous year’s usage. Any remaining balances will be returned to you up to 45 days later, after the bills are tallied up. 

  • Security Deposit: Usually 10% - also returned to you on or about 45 days after you leave. Document the house well when you arrive to avoid conflict. Any existing damages to the home, furniture, grounds, need to be discussed within 48 hours of you taking possession of the house.

  • Make your best offer including your preferred dates.

  • Put yourself in the owner's shoes and consider how your offer will be received. You want to start off on the right foot.

  • Be prepared to give references.


The Lease.

  • Your agent will prepare a Lease for the homeowner to approve first and then send to you. Read it carefully. This is a Legal Document. You are allowed to make changes to suit you but they need to be mutually agreed upon. The lease is written for both parties. You are free to have your own attorney review it.

  • Sign it ASAP and send either the initial rent payment or the entire amount as described in the lease. Don’t delay here or you may lose your dream rental.

  • The Homeowner pays the brokerage commission of 10% of the total rent. Usually it comes from your initial payment so you may be asked to wire or write 2 checks, one to the homeowner and one to the agency.

  • The broker or agent represents the homeowners almost always in the Hamptons. We provide the Lease for them and they pay for our services. Agents do not however get involved in disputes between the parties. We simply try to keep the peace so that everyone stays happy!