Rental unit bill passes out of committee Week Of 5/23/2022

Larry Limpf

A bill that would give owners more autonomy over their rental units has been passed out of committee in the Ohio House of Representatives.
The House Local Government Committee held its fourth and final hearing recently before passing it by a vote of 9-4.
The bill would prohibit a township or municipality from adopting regulations that prohibit short-term rental properties or regulate the number or duration of rental periods.
The bill includes an exception to the prohibition if the regulations covering short-term rental properties are enforced in the same manner as for similar properties that aren’t rented on a short-term basis.
At present, according to the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, state law doesn’t provide for regulation of short-term rental properties, which the bill defines as a house, apartment, condominium, co-op unit, cabin, cottage, or bungalow or one or more rooms offered to transients and travelers for a fee for 30 days or less.
During a committee hearing earlier this month, Jason Warner, of the Greater Ohio Policy Center, provided testimony on the bill, saying it would preempt local control.
“Enactment of House Bill 563 makes it impossible for local officials, responding to the will of their constituents, to enact regulations for the limit, the number, duration, or frequency of rental periods. In short, the bill would overrule municipal and township zoning regulations while at the same time, undermining the home rule authority of communities across Ohio,” he said.
To better regulate “this emerging industry,” he said the GOPC recommends the legislature clarify the impact of Ohio’s lodging tax and ensure properties such as a beach house or cabin are treated the same as any hotel or rental property.
“If the state wanted to be helpful to communities, rather than banning short-term registries, the state should seek to set minimum standards for registries, while at the same time permitting local governments to set standards that meet or exceed these standards,” Warner said.
Beth Wanless, of Ohio Realtors, provided proponent testimony to the committee.
“Short-term rentals provide a property owner the ability to generate income on the property they own while providing flexible accommodations to people who may be unable to find an adequate housing situation that fits their needs,” she testified.
Wanless noted there are provisions in the bill to allow local governments to regulate short-term rental units for building codes, public safety, noise, drug and sex trafficking, and preventing a property from becoming a nuisance.


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