The demand over the past 10 years spiked on platforms like Airbnb and VRBO, which connect homeowners with short-term renters.
During the summer season in Michigan, for example, there is a high demand for lake houses. Lake houses allow for the perfect getaway while avoiding the traditional, commercial destination (like hotels and motels).
Understandably, many citizens oppose the increase of homes used for short-term rentals. After all, who wants to have a “new” neighbor every couple of days?
Accordingly, townships, cities, and villages reacted by passing zoning ordinances to address the issue, especially in the past 3-5 years. These ordinances either prohibit or impose restrictions on short-term rentals (click here for an example).
Generally speaking, the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act (ZEA) allows local governments to pass and enforce these ordinances.
The ZEA gives local governments the authority to regulate land use and establish zoning districts. However, if House Bill No. 4722 becomes law, many of these local restrictions will be deemed invalid.
HB No. 4722, as passed by the House of Representatives on October 27, 2021, prohibits local governments from disfavoring short-term rentals. It would prevent local governments from treating homes offered for short-term rentals differently from other homes within the same zoning.
To illustrate, if other single-family lake houses are allowed as-of-right in a zoning district, then using a single-family home as a short-term rental cannot be categorized as a special use. Similarly, local governments will no longer be allowed to require a permit or some form of approval/license prior to engaging in a short-term rental transaction.
HB No. 4722 provides several exceptions and allows local governments to place a cap on the number of homes being used as a short-term rental. Many believe that such a cap, and the manner in which it will enforced, will lead to litigation.
We will be following HB No. 4722 and this issue closely. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to the attorneys at Dalton & Tomich, PLC.
The attorneys of Dalton & Tomich, PLC have the experience and the knowledge to work with you to develop a legal solution that helps accomplish your goals. Our collaborative approach has helped leaders like you grow businesses and banks, develop and expand churches, and build nonprofit organizations nationwide.
In my role as Administrative Bishop for the Church of God, quite often we are faced with issues that involve local governments and municipalities. Many of these issues that arise in dealing with entities are land use related. I have found Dalton & Tomich’s experience and expertise in this area to be a valuable resource and asset in every situation.
Never one time during a year-long litigation process did Dalton & Tomich demonstrate anything other than Christ-like professionalism. They managed the legal details, while we continued to do church. How they managed themselves, managed our case, and represented our church set the table for me and our church to be where we are today.
Dalton & Tomich’s expertise and experience helped us through a very difficult legal journey, ultimately achieving a favorable outcome. Their personal interest in helping us went “above and beyond” just the call of duty.