Hi there! We are just starting to get our Air BnB up and running but are trying to sort out what our next steps are. The city of Chicago now requires either a vacation rental license or a bed and breakfast license to run an Air BnB. From my research it looks like this involves a building inspection. I am wondering if anyone here lives and hosts in Chicago and has gone through this and got a building inspection. What does it involve? How thorough is it? If we get the inspection, are we likely to have to make a bunch of major changes to the house before we can move forward? I hope this is an appropriate place for this question. Thanks so much for your help!! Cheers, Sarah
Many cities have laws on the books governing short term rentals, which predated the rise and popularity of Airbnb rentals, and the rise of the "sharing economy" and so many of those cities are taking another look at these laws. To require all people doing Airbnb rentals to sign up as official B&B's seems to poorly fit the phenomenon of the sharing economy.
If I were you, wanting to find out what is involved in the inspection process, I would either do as you are doing and try to find someone who has been through it, or make an anonymous call to the city, asking for information. Call the city dept that covers this and say you are a Chicago resident who is considering doing Airbnb rentals, and wanting to know what is involved before you undertake the process. Dont' give them your name or address, just ask for basic information. Or you can call in and say you are wanting to find out this information "for a friend who is interested in maybe doing Airbnb rentals."
I very much doubt that "major changes" would be required...my guess is that the city is simply wanting to see that (1) your building is in good condition, without any habitability issues or serious defects, (2) that there is adequate egress from each guest room in case of fire, (eg, usually in addition to the room door, a guest room would need to have a window of adequate size that a person could exit through it) (3) that you have appropriate safety items -- eg, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detector, fire extinguishers, (4) that your building is what you say it is -- for instance, if you say it is a single family home ,that it isn't really a condominium or a 40 unit apartment building.
These are the kinds of "issues" having to do with health and safety concerns and vacation rentals that I have heard about -- there may be others too but these are ones I have heard about.
Post by Inanna (Shaun) on May 19, 2016 17:03:43 GMT
Here's what is going on. Yes, those are the current regulation, which make so little sense for Airbnb that almost no one pays them any mind, although a few hosts in the Loop wards have been fined. The aldermen in the hotel districts are very against Airbnb.
Over the last few days, there has been a city council meeting discussion of new regulations, which will be voted on in a month. After that, hosts will have 150 days to comply.
it probably isn't the best time to try to conform to the regulations as written, since they will be changing in a matter of weeks.
you can join Airbnbaction to follow what is happening specifically in Chicago and also, on Facebook, Chicago Airbnb hosts group.
in the proposed regulation, everyone will have to register, but it does go easier on hosts renting a rooms in their home while at home.