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North Jersey Towns Move To Ban Airbnb, Other Short Term Rentals

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Short term room rentals are big business in the New York area, but towns in northern New Jersey are moving to ban them and homeowners could face fines.

Suzanne Warfield told CBS2's Meg Baker that she thinks of herself as a super host -- renting a room in her home for more than two years now, and charging $100 a night -- she made more than $14,000 in 2016.

Now, the Village of Ridgewood has put a ban on short-term rentals.

"The village has legitimate concerns about party houses, that's not me. I am a single woman, enjoy living in this community, and being able to rent a bedroom is allowing me to stay in my home during difficult financial times," she said.

Many of her guests are repeat customers with ties to the area, or couples looking for a new home.

"Three sets of grandparents who come into town to visit their grandchildren," she said.

In Ridgewood, there are 63 homes playing host to Airbnb. The village had 3,000 guests in 2016.

Ridgewood's mayor said the niche travel industry had not been addressed with zoning rules until now.

"It bans short-term rentals especially in residential areas given that we have had complaints from residents, increased traffic volume coming and going, driveways, suit cases, different cars," Mayor Susan Knudsen said.

Short term rentals are 30 days or less, violators can face a $1,000 fine.

In Lyndhurst a similar ordinance is being drafted. It will be voted on February 21. The mayor called it a safety issue.

"It's very hard to regulate, the parking, fire safety codes, transient people moving in and out. Main concern is the safety of residents," Mayor Robert Giangeruso said.

Last year Lyndhurst had 16 hosts who made an average of $2,400 annually with 240 visitors.

"It's highly controversial, advantages, and disadvantages," Fred Kukla said.

Kukla said he's fine with the idea of home sharing, but thinks Lyndhurst should institute a hospitality tax like Newark and Jersey City where renters pay 6 percent on top of the rate.

"Being on a fixed income myself, would definitely think it would be okay," Pat Burke said.

With sports and concert venues like the Meadowlands close by others think it's a great way to boost the local economy.

To ease safety fears Airbnb suggests towns include provisions like a short-term rental registry.

East Rutherford banned short-term rentals in August of 2016, placing a $750 fine for violations.

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