I recently purchased a 2 family home in Bloomfield, NJ. There is a finished third floor that is not a legal unit. To avoid any trouble with the town, I do not want to rent it out as a long term rental, and I am considering renting it out on Airbnb as a short term rental. However, there is only one means of egress from that floor, which is the stairs leading up to the unit. Are there safety concerns with only one eggress from the third floor? Would I need to add some kind of fire escape? Any advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
I don't think there is a lot of regulation on what ls legal for transient occupancy, but typically if it's not considered safe for a tenant, it's also not safe for an Airbnb guest. Airbnb will not come check your property, and guests probably won't complain. I think that's really up to your local buildings department, but I'm sure you could get away with it.
I think this is more a question about safety instead of regulation, correct? You can find several products that can be attached to a window which creates a second egress (think emergency rope ladder) these are cost effective and can be stored in a case as to not be messed with. Worst case scenario if a building inspector shows up or if something happens you have something in place. Better safe than sorry.
Why do you think it would not be legal to rent long term, but okay to rent short term?
I would think about it from your insurer’s perspective. Unlikely they would be comfortable underwriting your policy if they knew you’d be renting that floor out without two means of egress.
I would recommend consulting with your insurance agent before utilizing that space, and taking whatever precautions he/she recommends.
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