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.
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