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How Grand Rapids, MI is Dealing with Short Term Rentals

Posted by: Mary Ann Passi, CAE on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 12:00:00 am

Today, this is the situation in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

  • Any residence being used as an Airbnb or Short Term Rental (STR) must be owner-occupied
  • Only one room can be rented
  • No more than two adults may rent a room (children permitted)
  • No more than 200 permits will be given out citywide
  • Neighbors within 300 feet are notified when a property is permitted to rent a room
  • Initially, the city proposed charging more than $2,000 in fees just to advertise a room on sites like Airbnb.com. A task force hammered out a compromise earlier this year, eliminating most of the $2,000 in fees for one-room rentals.

It appears that the Grand Rapids regulations of Airbnb are essentially focused on limiting supply. The City Commission will likely vote to limit the number of licenses, restrict the number of rooms for rent within a particular home, and limit the number of renters within a room. The city also wants homeowners to have some skin in the game by requiring them to purchase a license, live in the home where the room is being rented, and notify their neighbors.

Yet the proposed regulations appear to be silent on one important issue: insurance. Presumably, homeowners renting rooms will be required to carry general liability insurance. But is that enough? Will there be coverage if something goes wrong during an Airbnb rental?

Airbnb says that it offers a “Host Guarantee” that provides up to $1 million in property damage caused by a renter. But Airbnb’s website specifically says that it is “not insurance and should not be considered as a replacement” for homeowners insurance, and it excludes personal liability.

For updated information, check out the Members Only section of the CHPA website or directly at www.sfaa.org.


Responding to Members: CHPA Board in Action

Posted by: Amanda Cook on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 12:00:00 am

Like member companies, CHPA leaders use the fall to analyze the past and plan for the future. In October, CHPA's Board of Directors met on how to make members more successful via the Association’s programs and services. Using the recent member assessment results for what members want and need most, the Board made the following decisions:

  • Leaders found that any legislative issue that resulted in a CHPA-coordinated response was identified directly by members. As a result, Board members voted to reallocate these resources in 2015. The Association will continue to represent members when needed, as needed.
  • With online marketplaces a key and growing industry reality, the Association will continue connecting members to resources about this potential opportunity for and impact on the industry.
  • We continue with validated Board positions to engage the industry’s largest North American member companies, bringing critical expertise and business knowledge to the Association’s leadership. 2015’s Nominating Task Force will create a comprehensive matrix to identify future leaders.
  • To help create appropriate resources member needs and opportunities outside North America, several CHPA leaders will attend the ASAP conference in December. The Board supported continuing international collaborations.
  • Building on Canadian member leaders’ recommendation to develop a company certification, we will form a Task Force to develop requirements, process, etc. If you are interested in being involved, please contact Mary Ann Passi.
  • The Associate Partner representative on the Board of Directors is encouraged but not required to hold the CCHP designation.
  • Board members reviewed the CCHP policy and the validation process, approving updates to both policies. Updated policies are found in the member section of the website.
  • The Board approved resources to partner with Smith Travel Research to develop an online monthly reporting system. Stay tuned for more details on this exciting program.

If you items for a future Board discussion, please contact Mary Ann Passi. The next CHPA Board of Directors meeting is December 16, 2014.


Ebola and Real Estate Responsibility

Posted by: Kimberly Smith, CCHP; AvenueWest Global Franchise on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 12:00:00 am

  • Have you ever done a hazmat clean?
  • Do you have a hazmat cleanup company on your vendor list?
  • Does your insurance cover the costs of a hazmat clean?
  • Does your loss of rent insurance cover you if you need to do a hazmat clean?

Before you read the rest of this blog make sure you have the answers to these questions.

Next, let’s not panic! If you have been in real estate for more than a few years we can all remember when AIDS was a big fear. As a real estate agent, investor or landlord what are your responsibilities and what is the law? As with all real estate, every state is different and has its own laws regarding disclosures so check with the laws in your state. But, what really is a “Material Fact” and what can come back to haunt you? Generally if you are selling real estate, the seller, not the real estate agent needs to disclose if a person has died in the house in the last 3 years. Today in most states AIDS is now a protected class and if you disclose this you could be subject to discrimination claims.

In my experience the most serious clean ups have been the result of properties that have been used as meth labs, properties that have been used to produce methamphetamine drugs.   These drugs are made from household items but the resulting chemical cocktail permeates nearly every surface of the property and exposure can lead to cancer, organ damage and other health issues. Today it is possible to have a property cleaned by a certified hazmat company and future disclosure may not need to be necessary.

One of our offices did experience a hazmat clean this year. It was not the result of ebola but was the result of a tenant who was diagnosed with another very contagious blood disease. In our case the tenant contacted us of the situation and they were financially responsible for the property cleanup. Since we rent properties fully furnished not only was the property cleaned but we also had to dispose of all porous items in the property. Everything from the window coverings, sofas, beds and carpeting needed to be replaced and the total cost was over $20,000.

Use this as an opportunity to be educated and prepared and the odds are in your favor that you will never need to do any of this, but make sure you and your team have a procedure in place should you need it.

Reposted with permission from Kimberly Smith


Movement in PA & MI on 4 Tax Legislation

Posted by: Mary Ann Passi, CAE on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 12:00:00 am

NEW: PA H.B. 2515       An Act amending the act of August 9, 1955 (P.L.323, No.130), known as The County Code, in fiscal affairs, repealing provisions relating to authorization of excise tax and authorization of hotel tax; and providing for hotel room rental tax in third through eighth class counties and for certification of recognized tourist promotion agencies.

MI S.B. 758       Taxation; hotel-motel tax; collection of delinquent excise taxes; provide for. Amends sec. 4 of 1974 PA 263 (MCL 141.864 ).

PA H.B. 1177    An Act amending Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, further providing for initiative of electors seeking consolidation or merger with new home rule charter; providing for a hotel room rental tax in certain third class counties; and making an editorial change.

PA S.B. 838      An Act amending the act of August 9, 1955 (P.L.323, No.130), known as The County Code, in fiscal affairs, providing for authorization of five percent hotel tax in certain counties of the fourth class.


Occupancy & Hotel Taxes Moving in Three States

Posted by: Mary Ann Passi, CAE on Monday, September 22, 2014 at 12:00:00 am

MA H.B. 2752     188th (Current) An Act providing local aid enhancement for the town of Brewster By Representatives Turner of Dennis and Peake of Provincetown, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 2752) of Cleon H. Turner, Sarah K. Peake and Daniel A. Wolf (by vote of the town) that the town of Brewster be authorized to impose a room occupancy tax on certain property rentals located in said town. Revenue. [Local Approval Received.]

MI S.B. 758        Taxation; hotel-motel tax; collection of delinquent excise taxes; provide for. Amends sec. 4 of 1974 PA 263 (MCL 141.864 ).

PA H.B. 1177      An Act amending Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, further providing for initiative of electors seeking consolidation or merger with new home rule charter; providing for a hotel room rental tax in certain third class counties; and making an editorial change.

PA S.B. 76         An Act providing for tax levies and information related to taxes; authorizing the imposition of a personal income tax or an earned income tax by a school district subject to voter approval; providing for imposition of and exclusions from a sales and use tax for the stabilization of education funding, for increase to the personal income tax, for certain licenses, for hotel occupancy tax, for procedure and administration of the tax, for expiration of authority to issue certain debt and for reporting by local government units of debt outstanding; establishing the Education Stabilization Fund; providing for disbursements from this fund; and repealing certain provisions of the Public School Code of 1949 and sales and use tax provisions of the Tax Reform Code of 1971.

PA S.B. 838       An Act amending the act of August 9, 1955 (P.L.323, No.130), known as The County Code, in fiscal affairs, providing for authorization of five percent hotel tax in certain counties of the fourth class.

 


 
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