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Statehouse Committee Makes Changes To Short-Term Rental Propsoal

Some cities are considering regulating short-term rentals like those made popular by VRBO.

A Republican state lawmaker says he thinks his original proposal to ban local regulations of short-term rental properties like Airbnb goes too far.

The House government and regulatory reform committee passed an amendment Tuesday that would prevent short-term rentals from operating year-round, capping them at 180 days.

Representative Matt Lehman’s, R-Berne, original proposal would have prevented local governments from being able to prohibit or regulate short-term rentals, except for when it comes to public health and safety.

Lehman says after hearing testimony from the public, he’s trying to strike a better balance between personal property rights and government regulation.

"I think everybody would agree that allowing someone to rent a house everyday to a different person for 356 days out of the year is problematic," Lehman says. "Same at the other end of the spectrum. If I have to have government approval to rent my house for one day, I think that’s problematic."

The city of Carmel recently sent a letter out to residents telling them to remove their homes from websites like Airbnb because using them as short-term rentals violates local zoning ordinances.

The city of Bloomington is also considering regulations for short-term rentals but hasn’t decided how to move forward.

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