Detroit ordinance bans Airbnb but won't won't enforce it

- There are over 400 Airbnb's in Detroit and half of them could be shut down under a city ordinance.

Airbnb locations are becoming very popular and are even taking some business away from hotels. But the rentals are under the microscope, with talk that some of them may have to close.

Business is booming in Corktown - and not just for Slows BBQ. The business that's above the busy restaurant is the talk of the town. The Airbnb rental is bustling and is constantly booked. 

Young Detroiters see Airbnb as the best way to go: you just book it right form your phone. Bed and breakfasts you book right from your phone anywhere you want to go. Corktown is more becoming even more of a Detroit destination.  

On Tuesday, the city council passed an ordinance prohibiting Airbnb hosts from renting out single rooms. That makes up about half of the city's 430 Airbnb's.

However, the city says it won't be enforcing the ordinance. Here's the statement:

"Until the law department review is complete, Buildings, Safety Engineering & Environmental Department for the City of Detroit will not be ticketing homeowners for renting out rooms in their own residence, whether through Airbnb or otherwise. The administration will be working with City Council to resolve these issues."

The argument against Airbnb's has to do with regulations and taxes, says Michael O'Callaghan with the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau.

"The hospitality community understands if they were regulated, if they were paying the same type of taxes, if they had the same safety concerns, there would be a place for them," O'Callaghan said.

WEB UPDATE: Ben Breit of Airbnb says that O'Callaghan is incorrect.

"We have an agreement in place to collect and remit the state use tax on behalf of our hosts," Breit said in an email. "This is the same tax collected by hotels."
 

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