Realtors react to short-term rental legislation

Legislation to regulate short-term rental properties in Michigan has been introduced in the Michigan House.

State Representative Joey Andrews says it will create a registry of STRs and an opt-in excise tax on short-term rentals, set at 6% of the occupancy charge. The money would go to the local community.

However, not everyone’s supportive of the plan.

George Lucas is a realtor with RE/MAX Harbor Country. He tells us the state Legislature is approaching the STR question from the wrong direction, creating an unnecessary bureaucracy and taxes.

“There’s two rights that are competing, and the solution is to provide a balance,” Lucas said. “The two rights are, one, the private property right to rent one’s property, and then the other principle for the neighbors to have the quiet enjoyment of their property.”

Lucas says as a realtor, he interacts with buyers who encounter barriers to their goals all of the time.

“There seems to be insatiable demand for people who want to buy homes as an investment and get their return by using them as a short-term rental. The moratoriums and caps have impacted their ability to do so.”

Lucas says the Legislature should determine at what point any rental of a residential property becomes a commercial use. That is, how are long-term rentals not also commercial?

Meanwhile, Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors Executive Alan Jeffries tells us he’s opposed to the legislation out of support for property rights. He says he disagrees with the legislation and believes there is a better solution.


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