Panel backs banning local restrictions on Airbnb rentals

The Indiana Legislature could again consider prohibiting cities and towns from putting restrictions on short-term rental services like Airbnb.

A legislative study panel has recommended that lawmakers block local governments from adopting what it calls "any undue restrictions" on using someone's primary residence as a short-term rental.

A bill for such a ban narrowly failed during this year's legislative session and the issue could be debated when state lawmakers start a new session in January.

Sen. Mark Messmer, R-Jasper, said his intention is to let municipalities keep existing ordinances reasonably limiting short-term rentals, particularly in Lake Michigan beach towns, The Times of Northwest Indiana reported.

Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, said local governments should be allowed to prevent largely unregulated hotels from existing in residential neighborhoods.

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