Short-Term Rental Registration


This is per the Short-Term Rental Ordinance (Code of Ordinances No. 1026) adopted by the City Council on July 16, 2016 and amended Ordinance (Code of Ordinances No. 1044) adopted by the City Council on July 16, 2018 and amended Ordinance (Code of Ordinances No. 1045) adopted by the City Council on November 19, 2018.

What is a short-term rental?
  • The rental of a dwelling unit for compensation for a term of at least 2 nights to at most 29 nights.
What is not a short-term rental?
  • Hotels
  • Resorts
  • Bed & Breakfasts
  • Boarding House/Rooming House
  • Transitional houses operated by a charitable organization
  • Group homes such as nursing homes and adult-foster-care homes
  • Substance-abuse rehabilitation clinics
  • Mental-health facilities
  • Other similar health-care related facilities
How do I register my Short-Term Rental?
What is a Short-term Rental Business Unit? 
  • A zoning use consisting of a residential dwelling unit that may be rented for more than 6 short-term rental terms and more than 28 days in a calendar year. 
What is a Short-term Rental Personal Unit?
  • A zoning use consisting of a residential dwelling unit that may be rented for no more than 6 short-term rental terms and not more than a total of 28 days in a calendar year.
What is a Short-term Rental Term? 
  • The duration of a rental contract (including any sublease) with a renter or group of renters. A rental term shall  be deemed to end when there is a complete turnover in occupancy in the dwelling unit or when the individual on the rental contract vacates the dwelling unit.
  • Personal Short-term Rentals under the STR Program will cost $100 bi-annually and be inspected bi-annually. 
  • Business Short-term Rental Units under the STR Program will cost $500 annually and will be inspected annually.
  • All rental units will be inspected before a new Personal or Business STR certificate will be issued.  
  • Inspection Checklist Document 
Other Requirements:
  • Obtain the City issued Short-Term Rental Registration Certificate with the Zoning Administrator's signature   and post it in a  prominent first-floor window facing the street. 
  • Provide renters with the Good Neighbor Guide provided to you with your Certificate.
  • Personal STRs must notify the City of and post the dates of rental contracts on their City-issued Rental Certificate.
What is the purpose of a Local Agent?
  • Someone located within 45 miles from your short-term rental home.  This person or company will be contacted by concerned neighbors or by emergency personnel if there is an issue at your property while renters are there.
How is the maximum renter occupancy determined?
  • Newly rented, newly constructed or newly renovated houses: 12 people (over 2 years of age) OR 2 people per bedroom plus 2 people per occupied finished floor,  whichever is less.  Example:  3 bedrooms and 2 floors = 6 + 4 = 10 people.  
  • STR Personal Units must be registered for maximum occupancy of no more than 12 persons, even in Formula in Chapter 10, Article X of City Code would allow greater occupancy. 
  • To qualify as a finished occupied floor, basement and attic bedrooms are required to have egress windows in each bedroom per Michigan building code. 
What should I know about renting my home?
  • The City-issued rental registration certificate in 24 point type including the name of the local agent, a 24-hour telephone number with which the agent may be contacted, and the maximum occupancy of the dwelling unit as permitted by this ordinance must be posted in a prominent first-floor window of all Short-term Rental units at all times.
  • The address of the dwelling unit must be clearly marked outside the house, in the kitchen and near the pool area if applicable.
  • No fireworks shall be used on the premises of a dwelling unit when it is occupied by anyone other than the owner.
  • Egress windows, doors, and stairs must meet Michigan Residential Code standards.
  • Outdoor, kitchen and bathroom outlets must be connected to a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) device: Circuit panels must be properly labeled.
  • Smoke alarms must be located in each bedroom and carbon monoxide detectors located on each floor.  They must be maintained at least every 90 days.
  • Ordinance violations on three separate occasions result in fines of $100, $500, and $1,500.
  • A third violation will result in a notice to appear at a hearing and potential revocation of the rental certificate.
  • Changes in occupancy, agent, owner, or contact information must be updated with the Building Services Department: (269) 637-0789.
How could I lose my Short-Term Rental Registration?
Three incidents occurring with three different rental groups per year that are violations of the following:
  • Short-Term Rental Ordinance
  • Chapter 30, Article II of the City Code - Noise
  • Chapter 30, Article III of the City Code - Controlled Substances
  • Chapter 30, Article IV of the City Code - Unwholesome Substances 
  • Chapter 54, Article V of the City Code - Offenses Against Public Peace
  • Chapter 70, Article II of the City Code - Solid Waste
  • Any violation of the Zoning Ordinance or any permit or approval issued pursuant to the Zoning Ordinance.
The City tracks all incidents and will contact the Property Owner and Local Agent to appeal the decision at a Hearing.

What should I do if I have a Short-Term Rental Complaint?
The best way to make a complaint is as an incident occurs.

Since these are generally after business hours, your best option is to call the non-emergency police number at (269) 637-5151.  The Police and Fire Departments report all incidents to the Building Services Department.

The house is being rented, but a Certificate is not in the window. The rental certificate must be posted at all times. 

The Certificate is in a second-floor window.  Please take a picture from public property and email it to the Zoning Administrator.

There is a piece of paper in the window, but it isn't the Certificate.  The rental certificate must be posted at all times. 

There are more occupants in the house than stated on the Certificate.  Call the non-emergency police number (269) 637-5151 after 11:00 PM and before 7:00 AM if you believe there are more occupants than listed on the Certificate.  They will not be able to enter the rental house unless they have a warrant, but if there is a noise or parking concern, they can knock on the door to ask questions and attempt to ascertain the occupancy.

Smoke is coming into my home from their fire-pit.  Call the non-emergency police number at (269) 637-5151. The fire department will come out and assess if the smoke is coming into your house or not.

The renters are being too loud.  Call the non-emergency police number at (269) 637-5151 and state you are a neighbor and renters are being too loud.  Provide the address and they will come out to investigate.

Please do not make false complaints.  The police and fire departments will record unsubstantiated complaints and will provide that information to the Building Services Department.