East Lansing officials oppose short-term renting bills

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The Airbnb app icon is seen on an iPad screen, Saturday, May 8, 2021, in Washington. Airbnb reported Thursday, May 13 that its first-quarter loss more than tripled, to $1.17 billion, as travel remained depressed by the pandemic, but revenue topped the same period in 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)—  A battle is brewing in the state over who is allowed to rent their property on sites like Airbnb.

New bills in the house and senate would give the final say to owners but not everyone thinks that’s a good idea.

According to Airdna, a website that tracks date on short term rentals for the first quarter of 2021 there were only 50 listings.

A main reason for the low number is that the City of East Lansing places restrictions on who can rent. Some districts don’t allow new rentals and others only allow it the owner lives in the same house as the tenant.

If passed House Bill 4722 or Senate Bill 446 would prevent local governments from banning or placing any restrictions on vacation rentals.

It’s a move East Lansing Mayor Aaron Stephens, says he opposes.

“What these bills are about is allowing the state government to come in and say whatever you are doing we don’t like it…and it doesn’t matter what you were doing before, because this is what you are doing now,” Mayor Stephens said. “I think its a big safety issue too because what you’re talking about is owner occupied housing that is not going to be subject to an inspection.”

Anastasia Kariagina, who rents her home on Airbnb says the city’s laws make it difficult for others to do the same.

“I did have colleagues who had properties in East Lansing and they couldn’t do anything…they basically couldn’t live here and they couldn’t sell their properties. It was a real bad situation for many people,” Kariagina said.

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