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As I See It

Wisconsin should back off on proposed rules for rental properties with hot tubs

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When Covid hit, many of us felt trapped. We wanted to do things, but didn’t know if it was safe. Many people found a way to get away for a bit by renting homes in other parts of the state. A place where families could get away, break up the monotony without gathering in large crowds. For my family, that meant renting vacation homes in Door County and in Fountain City to be together and see new sights. But unnecessary red tape by state regulators threatens to make some of those homes unavailable. The Department of Trade and Consumer Protection wants new rules for rental homes such as those offered by AirBNB and VRBO if they offer hot tubs or swimming pools. The owners of the rental properties would have to be licensed by the state. The rules contain 15 pages of rules and regulations for properties that include hot tubs or swimming pools. They would have to be inspected and the water tested daily. The agency considers these to be public pools, even if they are only being used by a single family. That makes no sense. There is no reason for the state to adopt such stringent requirements. We’ve been renting homes with hot tubs for years with no problems. There are no documented complaints about these properties. The state should back off, and stop trying to offer solutions in search of a problem.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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