Two Bills Aim to Limit a Community's Ability to Regulate Zoning of Short-Term Rentals, Such as Airbnb

According to TripAdvisor, 67 percent of Americans are traveling this summer, with many of them considering a stay in short-term rental properties such as those found on Airbnb and VRBO. With the increase in travel demand, more residents may seek to list their properties on these popular websites.

A pair of bills being considered by the Michigan Legislature would create changes, if enacted into law, in a municipality’s ability to regulate the zoning of short-term rentals if signed into law. Currently, some Michigan communities utilize zoning laws to prevent homeowners from renting property to short-term renters.

Michigan House Bill 4722 and Senate Bill 446 would amend the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act to provide that a short-term rental (30 days or less) is not subject to a special use or conditional use permit or procedure different from those required for other dwellings in the same zone.

Although the legislation limits a Michigan municipality’s ability to use zoning laws as a way to prevent homeowners from renting their property, the bills would still allow municipalities to regulate short-term residences for the following reasons:

  • Noise or the prevention of nuisances;
  • The number of people that may occupy the dwelling;
  • Inspections and inspection fees; and
  • Taxes otherwise permitted by law.

According to the Michigan Township Association (MTA), the legislation would have a negative effect on the quality of life for residents living near a short-term rental. Champions for the legislation state that the bills promote Michigan tourism and help people rent their vacation properties.

Help is available

The municipal attorneys at O’Reilly Rancilio are available to answer your questions regarding the proposed laws. For more information, please call 586-726-1000 or visit our website.

Categories: Municipal