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Progress for Keep Chicago Livable: Full Implementation of Home-Sharing Ordinance Delayed

Dec 21, 2016
Reda & Des Jardins, LLC has recently been co-counseling the non-profit Keep Chicago Livable in a lawsuit with the City of Chicago, to prevent the introduction of a new ordinance that would impose restrictions on use of home sharing services such as Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway and FlipKey. 

We are proud to announce that the ordinance, which was due to go into effect on December 19th, will be postponed until February 18th, 2017. The regulations were previously voted for, 43 to 7, by the Chicago City Council.

Although some of the terms of the ordinance will still go into effect this month, including those concerning licensing fees, this delay will enable the City of Chicago and Keep Chicago Livable to find a solution that better works for everyone involved in home sharing across Chicago. 

Keep Chicago Livable has great concerns as to the impact of the remaining regulations should they go through, many of which they believe will impact the constitutional rights of citizens. As Reason Mag reports, Keep Chicago Livable and its President, Benjamin Wolf, describe the regulations as constituting an “outright ban on the use of internet home-sharing services” and “violate the constitutional rights of Chicagoans…to use their own property, to have privacy and to not be subject to arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement of the laws.” Concerns surrounding privacy refer to regulations requiring Airbnb to share users’ information with the government.

As described on the Keep Chicago Livable website, among other regulations the new law would also require hosts to comply with the Chicago Board of Health Regulations, comply with commercial kitchen requirement, have separate hand washing stations and may not allow children or pets on the premises.

ChicagoInno has reported that the ordinance levies a 4% surcharge on Airbnb and other home-sharing providers, requires a $10,000 annual license for each of the web-based companies, and imposes a $60-per-unit fee to raise funds for the enforcement of the new regulation. According to Keep Chicago Livable lawyers, the new law is “impossible to comply with”.

With 6,400 Airbnb hosts in Chicago, according to The Chicago Tribune, and a recorded  371,000 guests that stayed in the city between November 1, 2015 and November 1, 2016, the new regulations would affect the will and income of thousands of Chicagoans and visitors to the area. 

Shorge Sato, an attorney at Reda & Des Jardins, explains more about the issues facing those opening their homes to guests in a podcast published by the CATO Institute

With a goal to help Chicago residents continue to make use of home-sharing internet platforms, the delay in implementing the ordinance is a huge step forward for Keep Chicago Livable, and the rights of homeowners dependent on income from sites like Airbnb. 


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Evan M. Sauer
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