When deciding whether to become an Airbnb host, it's important for you to understand the laws in your city. As a platform and marketplace we do not provide legal advice, but we want to provide some useful links that may help you better understand laws and regulations in Chicago, IL. This list is not exhaustive, but it should give you a good start in understanding your local laws. Please also see our FAQ regarding Chicago registration requirements here. If you have additional questions, contact the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection directly or consult a local lawyer or tax professional.
- Shared Housing Unit Registration Requirement. Chicago requires all hosts to register shared housing units with the City in order to list their spaces on home sharing sites like Airbnb. Hosts can do this through a process set up by hosting platforms like Airbnb. The City has provided information about shared housing rules in Chicago here, and we’ve separately put together a summary of the City’s registration requirements here. Section 4-14-020 of the Municipal Code contains information regarding the registration requirements. The full text of recent changes to short term rental rules can be found here (2016 amendments) and here (2017 amendments).
- Zoning Ordinance. The Chicago Zoning Ordinance regulates zoning requirements and land use in the City. You should consult the Zoning Ordinance -- and the 2016 and 2017 home sharing amendments to the Municipal Code here and here -- to see if your listing implicates any zoning requirements or use definitions.
- Vacation Rental Licensing. The City of Chicago requires a license for a “vacation rental.” Section 4-6-300 of the Municipal Code contains information regarding the licensing process and the duties of a vacation rental licensee. Additional details, including fees and process information, are available at the City of Chicago Small Business Center page and Business Licensing page.
- Bed and Breakfast Licensing. The City of Chicago requires a license for a “bed and breakfast.” Section 4-6-290 of the Municipal Code contains information regarding the licensing process and the duties of a bed and breakfast licensee. Chicago regulations require registration and licensing for bed and breakfast activities, as described in Section 4-6-290 of the Municipal Code. Additional details, including fees and process information, are available at the City of Chicago Small Business Center page and Business Licensing page.
- Taxes. Chicago imposes a 4.5% “Hotel Accommodations Tax” for the listing price (including cleaning fees) paid for vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts and other hotel accommodations, as well as a 4% “Shared Housing Surcharge.” Airbnb collects and remits these taxes in Chicago. More information about that process is available here. Cook County also imposes a 1% hotel accommodations tax that may apply to your listing as described on the Cook County website. Airbnb collects and remits these taxes in Cook County. The State of Illinois also imposes certain hotel taxes that may apply to your listing as described in this Illinois Department of Revenue publication. Airbnb collects and remits these taxes in Illinois.
- Other Rules. It's also important to understand and abide by other contracts or rules that bind you, such as leases, condo board or co-op rules, HOA rules, or rules established by tenant organizations. Please read your lease agreement and check with your landlord if applicable.
We're committed to working with local officials to help them understand how Airbnb benefits our community. Where needed, we will continue to advocate for changes that will allow regular people to rent out their own homes. If you think your neighbor is an Airbnb host and you have a complaint, call the Chicago 24/7 hotline at (630) 541-4688.
Last updated: May 22, 2019