MRLA survey respondents prefer local control of short-term rentals

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Posted at 4:40 PM, Jun 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-29 16:40:39-04

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association released on Tuesday the results of a recent statewide survey demonstrating strong voter preference for retaining local control of short-term rental properties.

“There is an awful lot that seems to divide voters in Michigan these days,” said Justin Winslow, president & CEO of the MRLA. “How best to deal with the growing number of Airbnb properties in our communities clearly isn’t one of them. Voters across the political spectrum care deeply about preserving the safety and integrity of their own neighborhoods and Michigan’s elected leaders would be well served to heed that statement.”

According to the survey, 89% 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.

In addition, 79% of voters responding to the survey say the local city, township or county government should set rules and regulations, and 74% of respondents say local communities should be allowed to set their own rules.

72% of respondents supported legislation that would create 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.

79% say short-term rentals should be taxed the same as hotels.

Read the full survey results here.

The survey was conducted in response to House Bill 4722, which would not allow local governments to ban short-term rentals through zoning laws.

That bill was introduced back in April and sponsored by Sarah Lightner.

“The rapid growth of short-term rentals in recent years has been substantially driven not by homeowners, but by corporations that operate several properties much like hotels,” Winslow said. “But unlike hotels, they are not held to the same rigorous safety standards and in most instances do not contribute to the regional tourism infrastructure from which they benefit.”

TargetPoint Consulting conducted the statewide survey between June 24-27 among 400 registered voters in Michigan.

The survey was conducted online with a margin of error of 4.9%.

Some city leaders, including Boyne City Manager Michael Caine, are concerned about the boom in short-term rentals.

READ MORE: Bills would prevent communities from banning short-term rentals like Airbnb