Vacation home rentals in Chicago have operated unregulated, but a recent ordinance passed by City Council is putting that all in the past. Now those renting out space in their home, apartment, or condo will have to pay a $500 licensing fee every two years and host city inspectors in order to operate.
The ordinance was introduced last summer (as previously reported) but tabled until last month. On June 30, aldermen voted unanimously to crack down on this fast-growing industry.
Reactions to the ordinance have been mixed. In April, Pat Clark, the owner of Northcenter vacation rental Pat’s Place (1911 W. Berteau Ave.), said the added cost would be detrimental for her business. On June 30, the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce released its own public statement against the ordinance, saying it will hurt small business owners and the neighborhoods in which they operate.
Garrett FitzGerald, Northcenter Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, said he doesn’t have an issue with regulating the industry and, in fact, there are vacation rentals in areas like The Loop that need it.
“I’m all for regulation as long it’s reasonable,” FitzGerald said, adding that his only concern is how zoning will be handled.
The new ordinance prohibits vacation homes to operate in residential zoned areas where there are small apartment buildings and single-family homes. Current vacation-apartment rental properties can remain open if they have guest vouchers and tax receipts to prove they’ve operated a full year prior to the date the ordinance goes into effect on January 1, 2011.