Last year, the Michigan House of Representatives passed House Bill 4722, which, if enacted, would establish short-term rentals as a residential use permitted in all residential zoning districts throughout the state. This would have the effect of undoing regulatory frameworks of many Michigan municipalities that restrict where and how short-term rentals operate.
After passing the House in October of 2021, House Bill 4722 was transmitted to the state Senate, where it was referred to the Regulatory Reform Committee. The bill stayed with the Committee for nearly a year without any action taken on the bill; that is, until October 11, 2022, when the Committee reported House Bill 4722 to be voted on by the whole Senate, with a recommendation that the bill be approved. The Senate Committee’s vote was divided with six members of the Committee voting in favor of the bill, three against, and one member absent.
It is now expected that the whole Senate will vote on House Bill 4722 during the upcoming lame-duck session, which refers to the period between the general election in November and the start of the next legislative session in January.
Proponents of the bill contend that it would protect landowners’ property rights by limiting municipal governments’ authority to regulate short-term rentals in residential areas. Critics argue that the bill usurps local control by imposing a statewide approach that favors short-term rentals in residential areas and restricting local governments from creating their own policies that are tailored to fit the needs and preferences of their communities and constituencies. There are also fears that House Bill 4722 could exacerbate housing shortages affecting parts of the state by expanding the areas where profitable opportunities exist to convert available housing into short-term rentals.
Municipal officials may wish to contact their state senator to express support for or opposition to House Bill 4722. If you would like to have your opinion on the short-term rental bill considered by your state senator, you can find the contact information for your state senator’s office by simply submitting your address or ZIP code on the following webpage: https://www.senate.michigan.gov/fysbyaddress.html. If you would like to speak with an attorney regarding how this bill may impact your community, please call Mika Meyers to set up an appointment for a consultation.