Listing Your Chicago Property on Airbnb

Listing your Chicago property on Airbnb may seem lucrative, but if you’re not careful, it can cost you. Homeowners who want to list their property must be careful to avoid penalties by paying attention to the restrictions in the Chicago Shared Housing Ordinance and their building’s governing documents. The restrictions are noted below, along with the legal requirements that must be met to list your property on a shared housing site.

With a few exceptions, if your building is on one of two lists, you cannot list it on a shared housing site. The first list is Chicago’s “prohibited building” restriction and the second is Chicago’s “restricted residential” zone. A current list of all prohibited buildings can be found here. A current list of all restricted residential zones can be found here.

If the building isn’t on either of the city’s restricted lists, the next step is to check with a building’s governing documents.[1] Many buildings amended their bylaws or implemented rules and regulations in the past few years that disallow shared housing on the property.

As long as a building isn’t on either of the prohibited lists, and the governing documents allow shared housing, a unit-owner is allowed to Airbnb their unit. Chicago requires all unit-owners who wish to Airbnb their unit to register[2] and if they list more than one shared housing unit, to get a license by paying a shared housing unit operator fee of $250.[3]

This post is not an exhaustive explanation of the rules and regulations regarding short-term housing and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you want to list your property on a website like Airbnb, VRBO or HomeAway, call us so we can provide you with advice based on your particular circumstances.

[1] Municipal Code of Chicago Section 4-14-060(b)

[2] Municipal Code of Chicago Section 4-14-020

[3] Municipal Code of Chicago Section 4-5-010(38)

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