Short-Term Rentals Are Good for Michigan

State should stop municipalities from cracking down on homesharing

Michigan residents have been making great use of sites like AirBnB and Homeaway to make extra money renting out their vacation homes or to find unique, affordable and convenient places to stay on vacation. But not all municipalities see this as a good thing.

Several cities across the state, including Holland and Traverse City, have banned or severely limited the property rights of homeowners who made their homes available on short-term rental sites. In an op-ed for the Holland Sentinel, Policy Analyst Jarrett Skorup, along with coauthors Kelli Fickel and Elaine Page, two residents of Holland who used to enjoy renting their homes to visitors, condemned this policy.

In Traverse City, it is illegal to rent out your home or vacation property in residential areas, and property owners routinely get fined for renting out rooms using websites like Airbnb. In Grand Haven, the city council voted through new regulations that would greatly restrict short-term rentals and ban it in some places. Other municipalities in Michigan are following suit.

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This is outrageous and a violation of private property rights. Vacation rentals have numerous benefits. Owners can earn a little money, renters can find an affordable place to stay, and neighborhoods can see property values increase with well-maintained and desirable properties.

We have seen it firsthand: Rental owners take pride in the upkeep of their homes. Visitors are able to see and appreciate our city and state. And more homes for rent means lower prices for everyone.

Two bills currently under consideration in the state Legislature would stop this local violation of property rights. For more on this issue, visit http://www.mackinac.org/23638.


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