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Detroit suddenly reverses ban on Airbnb hosts

Reversal comes just days after enforcement began

Just a few days after the city of Detroit started handing out cease and desist orders to some of its downtown Airbnb hosts, the city council voted to lift the ban.

Back in November, the Detroit City Council approved of new restrictions on Airbnb, a short-term rental site, as part of a general update to its zoning code.

However, after going into effect Tuesday, it appears many of the city’s officials were caught off guard by the change, which was hidden as one sentence in a 200-page update to the city’s zoning code, according to an article by Tom Perkins for Detroit Metro Times.

From the article:

Regardless, David Bell, the city's director of the Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department, sent out a statement this morning that says that the rules weren't meant to prohibit overnight guests. The city law department is reviewing the ordinance, and will not be ticketing Airbnb hosts in the meantime. He also claims cease and desist letters that Airbnb operators recently received stemmed from the previous ordinance.

Airbnb explained to HousingWire that it is pleased with the city of Detroit for “doing the right thing.”

“We applaud the city for doing the right thing and protecting everyday people who are sharing their homes to pay the bills,” an Airbnb spokesperson said. “Airbnb has partnered with hundreds of cities to develop commonsense home sharing regulations, and we look forward to collaborating with Detroit leaders moving forward.”

This news comes just as Airbnb hosts experienced a major win from the housing industry. Hosts can now use the income they earn in short-term rentals when applying for a mortgage refinance from certain lenders, including Detroit’s own Quicken Loans. To read more about that, click here.

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