Airbnb, Short-term Rentals Bill Passes Senate

Apr 6, 2017

The Senate approved a measure 27-20 Thursday that stops local governments from banning short-term rentals, such as Airbnb.

The legislation establishes guidelines for short-term rentals, including a ban on renting more than 30 days in a row and 180 days total in a year. But it prohibits barring short-term rentals outright.

Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage), who opposes the bill, says it undoes 50 years of zoning ordinances and risks the commercialization of residential neighborhoods.

“And what if your next-door neighbor decides to turn his house into an unregulated hotel,” Tallian asked the Senate.

The bill’s Senate sponsor, Sen. Randy Head (R-Logansport), says the measure still allows municipalities to regulate short-term rentals and strengthens individual property rights.

“This bill gives homeowners more freedom to profit on their investment, to own your home with more rights, and not to let a municipality stamp those rights out,” says Head.

Head says he has an assurance from the bill’s author, Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne), that it will go to conference committee, where legislators will work out final details.