Inside208

Short-term Rental Legislation Doesn’t See Vote – Work Still to be Done

Posted on July 2, 2021 by Dene Westbrook

On Wednesday, the Senate and House both adjorned without any movement of the highly opposed short-term rental preemption legislation, senate bill 446 and house bill 4722. While action on SB 446 wasn’t anticipated, the house bill was heavily pushed to be taken up throughout the day for a vote.

The League, along with our coalition partners, issued a letter Wednesday morning to House members urging them to not rush a vote on HB 4722. The letter, co-signed by over 15 organizations, detailed issues with the proposed language and reiterated our pledge of being focused on finding sensible solutions that represent a true compromise.

Earlier this week, the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association (MRLA), released results of a recent statewide survey they conducted demonstrating strong voter preference for retaining local control of short-term rental properties. The survey data provides a compelling contrast to what supporters of HB 4722 are pushing for.

Survey highlights included:

  • 89 percent of voters are concerned that taking away local control of short-term rentals would result in increased housing costs, more crime and fewer homes for residents
  • 79 percent of voters say the local city, township or county government should set rules and regulations
  • 74 percent of voters say local communities should be allowed to set their own rules because each is different and may want different things
  • 72 percent of voters support legislation that creates a more level regulatory playing field between short term rentals and hotels, while preventing local government from banning short term rentals, but allowing them to continue to control them.
  • 70 percent of voters oppose legislation that would take away the power of local governments to control short-term rentals
  • 82 percent of voters agree that local governments in Michigan are better equipped to protect their neighborhoods from the negative impact of short-term rentals than the state government in Lansing

Thank you to everyone who has been diligently engaging lawmakers on this issue. While both bills remain on their respective chamber floors ready for action, we are hopeful over the summer that work will be done to find a true, sensible compromise to regulating short-term vacation rentals.

The Senate is scheduled to be on break until July 15, and the House is scheduled to be out until July 21. Please continue to engage your legislators during their in-district coffee/office hours on this issue. Vist our short-term rental resource page for more information.

Jennifer Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at jrigterink@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

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