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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Sides forming in state effort to preempt local renter rules

Boat on Northport Bay, Lake Michigan
Mark Brush
Michigan Radio
Boat on Northport Bay in Lake Michigan

A fight is brewing at the state Capitol over whether the Legislature should preempt local rules on expensive rental properties.

Local governments and neighbors say short-term vacation rentals are changing the character of neighborhoods. The battle is getting particularly fierce in Great Lakes shoreline communities where rental properties can go for thousands of dollars a week.

Lucy Welch lives in Spring Lake on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She says neighbors recently started renting out their home to vacationers.

"It’s like a fraternity party at night and during the day, it’s like living next to a resort,” Welch said.

Landlords and rental agencies say local governments should not be able to tell homeowners what to do with their property.  A hearing on the bills is expected later this month.