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  • By Lisa Brody

Short-term rentals not allowed in township

While long-term rentals over 30 days will still be permitted, Bloomfield Township trustees on Monday, December 10, voted to prohibit short-term rentals of less than 30 days when a resident is not home.

The introduction of the ordinance amendment had come about in response to neighborhood complaints in June 2018 for people renting out a home for short-term rentals, also known as “Airbnb” rentals, which are in violation of the township's zoning ordinance, Patti Voelker, township planning, building and ordinance director said.

Airbnb is a privately held global company that operates an online marketplace and hospitality service which is accessible via its websites and mobile apps, where people often stay in members' homes rather than hotels.

Voelker said many communities had begun identifying and regulating the short-term usage of a dwelling unit, or part of a dwelling unit, for less than a month.

“The usage can also be a home sharing activity whereby the resident hosts visitors in their home while at least one of the primary residents lives on-site throughout the visitor's stay. Alternatively, a short-term rental can also be defined as the rental to any person for exclusive transient use of any dwelling. The short -erm rental provisions create a distinction between the traditional long-term rental housing (30 days or more) for the intended purpose of establishing a permanent residence,” she wrote in a memo to trustees.

She said the ordinance amendment looked to make a compromise, where if a room is rented out and the resident is home, that would be permitted, but otherwise home rentals for 30 days or less would be expressly prohibited.

“I know my neighborhood, it's common when there's something at the country club (Oakland Hills Country Club), people rent out their homes, so that would be prohibited?” asked trustee Dani Walsh.

“The township has a special event provision for that,” Voelker said.

“A lot of people have said to me they don't want people coming and going in Bloomfield Township,” trustee Neal Barnett said.

“There is a difference and how they behave when they are in the house. Thirty days seems fair,” Walsh said.

“I want to protect property rights, but I don't want transients in neighborhoods. I think the ordinance and the way it is written is a perfect balance,” said supervisor Leo Savoie.

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