August 21, 2019

What’s the deal with Short-Term Rentals? Q&A in DBusiness

Answer:  Short-term rentals of residential real property are a hot button issue nationwide and Michigan is no exception. Online platforms, such as Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway have made it easy for homeowners to connect with guests seeking accommodation alternatives to hotels and traditional vacation rentals. The quick rise of short-term rentals has led to controversy due to the conflicting interests of the homeowners, who want to be able to generate income from their properties, and their neighbors, who are concerned about the potentially negative impact of transient occupants.

Several municipalities in Michigan have stepped in and attempted to regulate these types of rentals; however, the regulations have been inconsistent, and the rules can vary drastically from municipality to municipality. In late 2018, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued an unpublished opinion upholding a municipality’s right to restrict short-term rentals. See Concerned Property Owners of Garfield Township, Inc v Charter Township of Garfield, unpublished per curiam opinion of the Court of Appeals, issued October 25, 2018 (Docket No. 342831). In response, the Michigan legislature has been considering amendments to the Zoning Enabling Act, which would prevent municipalities from prohibiting short term rentals. If passed, Michigan would become one of the several states with laws protecting the rights of homeowners to rent their homes as vacation rentals.

Anna Valk helps clients protect and maximize the value of their real estate assets. Her practice focuses on all aspects of selling, purchasing, leasing, and financing of real estate projects.


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