Chicago’s newest home-sharing regulations are about to go into effect on December 17. The regulation allows buildings with multiple units to place themselves on a list of properties that do not allow Airbnb or other home-sharing site rentals. And according to the Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection, 901 residential buildings with a total of 88,993 units have placed themselves on this list, including Aqua, Marina Towers, and Trump International Hotel and Towers.
For those out-of-town vacationers looking for ways to avoid the sometimes extremely high hotel room rates in popular travel neighborhoods, this regulation could mean they have to fork over the money for a hotel room downtown, or that they may need to stay in a single-family home rental a little further away from the downtown tourist areas.
Fortunately, the latter Airbnb rentals do not seem to have been affected yet by the new regulations, which also impose licensing requirements on all people who rent out their homes. Airbnb records indicated that in October, Airbnb rental listings in the Chicago area had increased 56% from one year earlier.
While these changes seem to be significant – enforcement will be key. While the ordinance imposes obligations on the home-sharing sites, like Airbnb, to cooperate and exchange information with the city and also remove illegal listings from their websites, prior regulations have proven very difficult to track and enforce.
If you are considering listing your Chicago residence on any home-sharing site, contact an attorney at Lavelle Law to make sure you are in compliance with Chicago’s ordinance or that the building you are in is not on the City’s prohibited list. The penalties for not complying may be serious.