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Indiana House passes bill that would protect residents renting rooms on Airbnb

Posted at 11:16 PM, Feb 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-16 08:43:19-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana House has passed legislation that would prevent local communities from banning residents from renting rooms in their home on Airbnb and other popular rental services.  

House Bill 1133 was approved by the House with a 53-40 vote on Tuesday. It will now move to the Senate for a vote.

The same bill fell flat on the statehouse floor earlier this month after failing to receive a majority vote.

RELATED | Bill that would protect homeowners using Airbnb has failed

The bill was filed by Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne) and would prevent local communities from banning residents from renting rooms in their homes.

The legislation would also prevent governments from enacting overly strict regulations that go beyond what homeowners already face.

In January the city of Carmel began cracking down on homeowners who were renting rooms on Airbnb. The city mailed letters to homeowners with listings on the travel site giving them 10 days to remove their home from “any websites advertising such things” or face penalties.

RELATED | Carmel cracks down on homeowners listing their properties on Airbnb YOU REACT: Airbnb in Carmel: Government overreach or protection?

The legislation became an issue in Carmel after city officials mailed letters last month to homeowners who were renting rooms on Airbnb. The letters gave homeowners 10 days to remove their listings or face penalties.

The city said they had received complaints from residents and homeowners associations as well as local hotels about the number of rooms listed on the travel site.

The city of Fishers has also been discussing similar regulations. The city was putting together a committee to evaluate the use of Airbnb inside the city limits and the effects it has on their community.

RELATED | Fishers considers committee to evaluate Airbnb use | Indianapolis Airbnb hosts earn $45 million in 2016

A state law is already set to go into effect on July 1 that would limit Airbnb usage statewide.

Starting in July, property owners in Indiana will be required to have a retail merchant’s license and charge state tax to rent their homes on Airbnb.

RELATED  |  Central Indiana Realtors say Carmel’s Airbnb ban infringes upon property rights | Indianapolis Airbnb hosts earn $4.5 million in 2016 |