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Historic Short-Term Rental Bill Passes Indiana Legislature


Travel Tech on March 06, 2018

Historic Short-Term Rental Bill Passes Indiana Legislature

Hoosier State Solidifies its Place as Tech Policy Leader; Legislation Heads to Governor’s Desk 


Indianapolis, IN
 -- A bill to protect private property rights and catalyze Indiana’s tourism economy overwhelmingly passed the House today and is on its way to Governor Holcomb’s desk for his signature.

House Bill 1035 previously passed the State Senate by a 47-2 vote. The House concurred today by a 73-18 vote.

Authored by Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne) and Sen. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper), the legislation sets state standards for short-term rentals throughout Indiana -- a segment of the Hoosier tourism economy popularized by platforms such as Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO. If signed into law by Governor Holcomb, the private property rights of short-term rental owners and hosts would be protected under Indiana law. Municipalities would be prohibited from any outright bans of short-term rentals or home sharing.

“This legislation reflects the perfect balance of individual property rights and government oversight,” said Rep. Lehman. “I look forward to the Governor signing this bill into law and making a national statement that Indiana is open for business.”

“The overwhelming support for this legislation reflects our state’s support for economic growth, entrepreneurship and tourism,” said Sen. Messmer. “The thousands of Hoosiers already renting and sharing their homes should feel protected under the law and empowered to keep bringing in new revenue to Indiana.”

Municipalities would be empowered to tailor regulations for noise and safety according to their local needs. Municipalities would also receive responsibility for maintaining short-term rental permitting registries if they so choose, including a one-time $150 fee to apply. 

Once signed into law, Indiana would become the fourth U.S. state -- following Florida, Idaho and Arizona -- to protect short-term rentals under state law. Several other states -- including Tennessee, Michigan, Georgia and Nebraska -- are currently considering following Indiana’s lead with similar legislation. 

Statement from Laura Spanjian, Midwest Policy Director, Airbnb
“On behalf of our Hoosier Airbnb hosts, we applaud Rep. Lehman and Sen. Messmer for their tremendous bipartisan achievement. Indianapolis is Airbnb’s top trending U.S. city, and we’ve also seen home sharing boost tourism to cities like South Bend, Bloomington, Fort Wayne and Evansville. We believe this law will serve as a model for other states looking to take full economic advantage of the sharing economy.”

Statement from Joseph Montano, Indiana Government Affairs Manager, Expedia, Inc.
“Today marks an important moment for Indiana’s leadership as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. For over two decades, Expedia vacation rental platforms like HomeAway and VRBO have empowered the responsible renting of Indiana vacation rentals, enabling economic growth in communities across the Hoosier State. Today’s vote ensures the doors to Indiana destinations stay open to traveling families for generations to come.

“Expedia applauds Senator Messmer and Representative Lehman for their steadfast leadership.”

Statement from Matt Kiessling, Vice President of Short-term Rental Policy, The Travel Technology Association
“Thanks to the dedicated efforts of Representative Lehman and Senator Messmer, HB 1035 puts Indiana on the map as a national leader when it comes to pro-technology public policies that embrace the peer-to peer economy while also balancing the interests of all stakeholders. This legislation ensures that short-term rentals remain an option for travelers visiting the Hoosier State and provides enormous economic benefits to local communities. It is truly an historic win for Indiana.”

Last year, Indiana short-term rental owners and hosts earned over $30 million while welcoming nearly 300,000 guests—more than double from the year before.

This extraordinary growth comes as Indiana hotels continue to experience climbing revenue and occupancy rates, indicating that short-term rentals are opening up the state to a new slice of prospective tourists by catering to travelers less able to afford hotels, those who desire to stay in neighborhoods or cities that lack hotels, and families who prefer to be together under one roof.

 

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