Cape May County stops short-term vacation rentals to help curb virus spread

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — Looking for a weekend down the shore? Not in the middle of this pandemic. Cape May County has taken advantage of power granted under Gov. Phil Murphy’s ongoing emergency to ban short term rentals.

Early on in the virus’ spread, shore officials were begging people not to visit. The off-season infrastructure couldn’t handle the stress. Freeholder Jeffrey Pierson said that’s still the case today.

Some towns adopted rental bans with specific end dates in May. This county-wide prohibition is open ended, but Pierson says there’s no desire to extend the pain any longer than necessary.

“We’re not looking to shut down the summer season,” he told KYW Newsradio. “That is not our intent at all. Our intent is to just stop what’s going on right now and try to get some civility down here in the Cape.”

In fact, the closer we get to the Memorial Day weekend, the better county officials will be able to decide how long this prohibition has to stay in place.

“If you have probably a rental from we’ll say June through August, I would think that would be safe,” Pierson added. “But if you’re trying to rent right now, we don’t want you to rent.”

The ban covers all types of transient rentals from hotels and motels to bed and breakfasts and private home rentals.