Local communities will be limited in their ability to regulate short-term housing rentals if a bill passed by the Michigan House of Representatives, House Bill 4722 (“HB 4722”), becomes law.
HB 4722 would amend the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act to establish that the rental of a dwelling, including a short-term rental:
- Is a residential use of property that is permitted in all residential zoning districts
- Is not subject to a special use or conditional use permit or procedure different from those required for other dwellings in the same zone
- Is not a commercial use of property
The bill restricts local communities from adopting or enforcing zoning ordinance provisions that have the effect of prohibiting short-term rentals. However, it does not prohibit zoning ordinance provisions that regulate noise, advertising, traffic, or other nuisances related to the rental of a dwelling, provided that such regulations apply consistently to owner-occupied residences as well.
The bill makes clear that the proposed changes do not prohibit a local unit of government from (i) inspecting a residence for compliance with or enforcement of an ordinance provided that it is for the protection of public health and safety, is not a zoning ordinance, and does not have the effect of prohibiting short-term rentals, or (ii) collecting taxes otherwise authorized by law.
Local governments may limit the number of short-term rentals under common ownership, which is defined as “ownership in whole or in part by the same individual, individuals, or legal entity,” to two or more. Local governments may also limit the total number of units that may be used as a short-term rental in their jurisdiction. According to the bill, the limit shall not be less than 30% of the total number of residential units in the municipality.
The bill faces substantial opposition from numerous municipalities, the Michigan Townships Association, the Michigan Municipal League, and the Michigan Association of Planner. The opposition seems to center upon “undermining local control and upsetting the delicate balance between property rights and the established, transparent process for local decision-making.” (Michigan Township Association newsletter)
HB 4722 has only passed the House, and in order to become law must still be passed by the Senate and signed by Governor Whitmer. If you have any questions or concerns about the effects of HB 4722, please contact Norb Madison or your Fraser Trebilcock attorney.
Norbert T. Madison, Jr. is a highly regarded corporate and real estate attorney with more than three decades of experience. Primarily focused on real estate matters, Norb represents clients in all facets of the practice, including the purchase, sale, leasing, and financing of various types of real estate, as well as the development of industrial, office, retail, condominium and residential real estate. Contact Norb at 313.965.9026 or email@example.com.
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