HOW TO LEGALLY HOST AIRBNB GUESTS IN GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN
So you’re interested in hosting Airbnb guests? Awesome! I hope you love it as much as I do! I have to admit though, when I first decided to host Airbnb guests according to the rules set up by the City/State I found myself frustrated trying to find information online. In order to help streamline the process for my future fellow hosts I put together a little guide based on my experience.
While going through the process of becoming an Airbnb host you will need to interact with several departments within the city of Grand Rapids: the City Clerk’s Office, the City Assessor's Office, and the Fire Department. It’s best to go in assuming that these departments don’t communicate perfectly with one another so be prepared to follow up with them, as necessary. Also, plan to practice a little patience. I was initially told me the process would likely take 5-7 days and it ended up taking 63. Hopefully this guide will help it move a little quicker for you. 🙂
BEFORE YOU APPLY, MAKE SURE YOU QUALIFY!
THE STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO HOSTING AIRBNB GUESTS IN GRAND RAPIDS
*Per MCL 211.7cc (32)(b) "Common area" includes, but is not limited to, a kitchen, dining room, living room, fitness room, porch, hallway, laundry room, or bathroom that is available for use by guests of a bed and breakfast or, unless guests are specifically prohibited from access to the area, an area that is used to provide a service to guests of a bed and breakfast.
AFTER YOUR LICENSE IS APPROVED
Keep a positive outlook, even after all the fees and taxes you will have to pay (license, income tax, adjustment to PRE), you’re still providing a great service to visitors to our community. 🙂 If you find yourself with other questions or concerns you can always reach out to the City Clerk’s office, contact one of our City Commissioners or leave a comment here and I'll do my best to respond!
This content was originally posted on my personal blog on 10/3/16 - http://www.lizziewill.com/words/2016/10/3/airbnb-me-the-how
Wow! Waymore than I thought I had to consider. My place is in Houghton Lake. So I guess now I either have to take down my listing, reject my guest or start making some serious phone calls. Thanks so much for the information
I wanted to share what I found out for Denton Township. Both the City Assessors office and City Clerk said that there is no permit required. As long as the property is still a private residence, even if Air bnb is used/some other form of renting, no permits. Their approach is to encourage tourism and ensure people pay the property taxes. So it is all good.
Denton Township does not cover all areas of Houghton Lake.
When we did Airbnb in GR they were very specific that the only thing you could do is rent one room in your space and it must be owner occupied (you must be present at the same time as your guest). We even went to court with the city over it, they're outrageously strict for no good reason. So doing it "legally" is really a huge pain.
I'm looking into doing this for a house I'm buying because I'm seeing many listings for GR on airbnb that appear to be a whole dwelling. Do you think these people applied for a Class C license to make it a legit rental unit? The house I'm buying could have the entire basement rented (has it's own bathroom and kitchenette), but since it can be closed off to the upper part of the house, the city is saying it wouldn't qualify for the one-room rental as @Lizzie laid out above. So I was looking into making it an official rental in order to do airbnb. The more I dig, it sounds costly. Does anyone have any expertise in this?