§ 4-6-300

Vacation rentals

a.

Definitions .  As used in this section:

Applicant” means a person; or any partner, if a general partnership; any general partner, if a limited partnership; any principal officer, if a corporation; any managing member, if a limited liability company; any owner of 25% or more of the applicant; or in the case of a cooperative building, a lessee with a proprietary lease of a cooperative in a cooperative building.

Board of directors” means the board of directors of a cooperative building.

Cooperative building” means a multiple-dwelling complex owned by a cooperative corporation, stock in which affords the owner thereof the right to possess or occupy a particular cooperative allocated to that stock within the complex.  This right of possession or occupancy is granted through a proprietary lease or similar arrangement, and, unlike the owner of a condominium, the owner of the cooperative stock does not hold legal title to his or her individual cooperative.

“Cooperative” is an individual dwelling unit within a cooperative building.

Dwelling unit” has the meaning ascribed to that term in section 17-17-0248.

“Homeowners association” means the association of all the unit owners, acting pursuant to bylaws through its duly elected board of managers.  For purposes of this definition “unit owner” means the person or persons whose estates or interest, individually or collectively, aggregate fee simple absolute ownership of a unit, or in the case of a leasehold condominium, the lessee or lessees of a unit whose leasehold of the unit expires simultaneously with the lease.

“Local contact person” means a person authorized as an agent of the owner who: (1) is designated for service of process; (2) is authorized by the owner to take remedial action and respond to any violation of this Code; and (3) maintains a residence or office located in the City.

Ownershall include, for purposes of this chapter only, a person who is a lessee of a cooperative pursuant to a proprietary lease.

Owner-occupied dwelling unit” means a dwelling unit that a person who owns 25% or more of the interest in the dwelling unit; or in the case of a cooperative building is a lessee of a cooperative pursuant to a proprietary lease, resides in the dwelling unit as his or her domicile or permanent place of residence; provided that a dwelling unit for which an owner or lessee (i) is absent from the dwelling unit overnight for any longer period of time not to exceed 120 days within a 12-month period; or (ii) is on active military duty for any length of time; and (iii) appoints a designated agent or employee to manage, control and reside in the dwelling unit during the owner’s or lessee’s absence is considered owner-occupied.

Transient occupancy” means any occupancy on a daily or nightly basis, or any part thereof, for a period of 30 or fewer consecutive days.

“Vacation rental” means a dwelling unit that is not an owner-occupied dwelling unit and contains 6 or fewer sleeping rooms that are available for rent or for hire for transient occupancy by guests.  The term “guests” does not include members of the owner’s household, as that term is defined in section 17-17-0270.  The term “vacation rental” shall not include: (i) single- room occupancy buildings or bed-and-breakfast establishments, as those terms are defined in Section 13-4-010; (ii) hotels, as that term is defined in Section 4-6-180; (iii) a dwelling unit for which a tenant has a month-to-month rental agreement and the rental payments are paid on a monthly basis; or (iv) corporate housing.  For purposes of this definition:

1.

“tenant” and “rental agreement” have the same meaning ascribed to those terms in section 5-12-030;

2.

“corporate housing” means a dwelling unit owned or leased by a business entity that is available for rent or for hire for transient occupancy solely by the business entity’s officers, employees, family members of the officers or employees, consultants, vendors or contractors.  “Family members” means an officer’s or employee’s (i) mother, father, spouse, brother or sister (including blood, step or half), son or daughter (including blood, step or half), father-in- law, mother-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, grandparents or grandchildren; (ii) court-appointed legal guardian or a person for whom the employee or officer is a court- appointed legal guardian; or (iii) domestic partner or the domestic partner’s mother, father, brother or sister (including blood, step, or half), or son or daughter (including blood, step or half).

b.

Application – Additional information required .  In addition to the requirements set forth in Section 4-4-050, an application for, and, if requested, a renewal of, a regulated business license authorizing the owner of a dwelling unit to rent or lease such dwelling unit as a vacation rental shall be accompanied by the following information:

1.

a statement as to whether the applicant owns the vacation rental identified in the license application;

2.

a statement setting forth (i) the address of the building in which the vacation rental is located; (ii) the location of the vacation rental within the building; (iii) the total number of sleeping rooms within the vacation rental; and (iv) the ownership of the vacation rental;

3.

the name, address and contact information of a local contact person;

4.

an affidavit from the local contact person identified in the license application attesting that such local contact person (1) is designated for service of process; (2) is authorized by the owner to take remedial action and respond to any violation of this Code; and (3) maintains a residence or office located in the City;

5.

an affidavit executed by a duly authorized representative of the homeowners association or the board of directors (1) attesting that the homeowners association or board of directors has approved the dwelling unit for use as a vacation rental; and (2) specifically identifying all other dwelling units in the building approved for use as vacation rentals; and (3) attesting that the association’s or board’s bylaws are in compliance with the requirements set forth in items (i) through (iv), inclusive, of subsection (c)(5) of this section;

6.

a statement as to whether, within two years of the date of application or renewal, the applicant has ever had a license to engage in the business of vacation rental revoked for cause;

7.

a statement as to whether, within two years of the date of application or renewal, a license for a vacation rental for the dwelling unit identified in the license application has ever been revoked for cause;

8.

a certificate of insurance, as required under subsection (f)(1) of this section.

c.

License issuance and renewal – Prohibited when .  No regulated business license to engage in the business of vacation rental shall be issued to the following persons:

1.

any applicant or licensee, as applicable, who does not own the vacation rental identified in the license application;

2.

any applicant or licensee, as applicable, whose license to engage in the business of vacation rental has been revoked for cause within two years of the date of application or renewal;

3.

any applicant or licensee, as applicable, if, within two years of the date of application or renewal, a license for a vacation rental for the dwelling unit identified in the license application has been revoked for cause;

4.

any applicant or licensee, as applicable, who makes any false, misleading or fraudulent statement in the license application, or misrepresents any fact in the license application, or uses any scheme or subterfuge for the purpose of evading any requirement of this section;

5.

any applicant or licensee, as applicable, if the homeowners association or board of directors of the building in which the vacation rental is located has failed to adopt bylaws which: (i) approve the use of the premises for vacation rentals; and (ii) restrict the number of dwelling units in the building that may be licensed as vacation rentals to six or less units and specifically identify those dwelling units; (iii) authorize the homeowners association or board of directors to act as the local contact person for the owner of the vacation rental; and (iv) authorize access by city officials to the common areas of the building in which the vacation rental is located;

6.

any applicant or licensee, as applicable, who has violated any applicable federal, state or local law or regulation promulgated thereunder;

7.

any applicant or licensee, as applicable, if issuance of a license under this section will violate the prohibition set forth in subsection (d)(1) of this section.

d.

Other license requirements .

1.

No more than six dwelling units within any building shall be licensed as a vacation rental at the same time.

2.

A separate license shall be required for each dwelling unit used as a vacation rental.

e.

Department duties – Inspections .

1.

The building commissioner is authorized to mandate an inspection of any vacation rental, at any time and in any manner, including third-party reviews, as provided for in rules and regulations promulgated by the building commissioner.

2.

If the licensee provides food to his guests in the vacation rental, the board of health may inspect the vacation rental in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the board of health.

f.

Legal duties .  Any licensee engaged in the business of vacation rental shall have a duty to:

1.

obtain (i) homeowner’s fire, hazard and liability insurance; and (ii) general commercial liability insurance, with limits of not less than $1,000,000.00 per occurrence, combined single limit, for bodily injury, personal injury and property damage arising in any way from the issuance of the license or activities conducted pursuant to the license.  The licensee shall maintain the insurance required under this subsection (f)(1) in full force and effect for the duration of the license period;

2.

maintain current guest registration records which contain the following information about each guest: (i) name, (ii) address, (iii) signature, and (iv) dates of accommodation;

3.

keep the guest registration records required under subsection (f)(2) of this section on file for three years and, upon request by any authorized city official, to make such records available for inspection by such city official during regular business hours or in the case of an emergency;

4.

print or to cause the licensee’s license number to be printed, in legible type, (i) in every advertisement of any type for any vacation rental that the licensee or the licensee’s agent places or causes to be placed in connection with a vacation rental; (ii) on every application for a building permit made by or on behalf of the licensee; and (iii) if the licensee advertises the vacation rental on a primary website established, operated or maintained by such licensee, on such website.  Failure to comply with the requirements of this subsection (f)(4) shall create a rebuttable presumption that the business of vacation rental is being operated without a license;

5.

provide guests with soap, clean individual bath cloths and towels and clean linen.  All linens, bath cloths and towels shall be kept in good repair and changed between guests;

6.

clean and sanitize the vacation rental and all dishes, utensils, pots, pans and other cooking utensils between guests and to dispose of all food, beverages and alcohol left by the previous guests;

7.

post in a conspicuous place near the entrance of the vacation rental the vacation rental license and the name and telephone number of the local contact person;

8.

post in a conspicuous place on the inside entrance door of each vacation rental an evacuation diagram identifying all means of egress from the vacation rental and the building in which the vacation rental is located;

9.

if the licensee provides food to guests, comply with all applicable food handling and licensing requirements of this Code and board of health regulations;

10.

if a licensee knows or suspects that any criminal activity or public nuisance is taking place in the vacation rental, immediately notify and cooperate with the Chicago police department.

g.

Prohibited acts . It shall be unlawful for any licensee engaged in the business of vacation rental to;

1.

rent or to lease any vacation rental by the hour or for any period of fewer than 24 consecutive hours;

2.

rent or to lease any vacation rental more than once within any consecutive 24 hour period, as measured from the commencement of one rental to the commencement of the next;

3.

advertise an hourly rate or any other rate for a vacation rental based on a rental period of fewer than 24 consecutive hours;

4.

permit any criminal activity or public nuisance to take place in the vacation rental;

5.

exceed the maximum occupancy limit of no more than one person per 125 feet of floor area of the dwelling unit for which the license is issued.  The occupancy limitations set forth in this subsection (g)(5) are absolute maximums.  The actual allowed capacity shall be based on the applicable provisions of the building code;

6.

serve or otherwise provide alcohol to any guest.

h.

Operating without a license .  Any person who operates the business of vacation rental without first having obtained the required license for such business shall be subject to a fine of not less than $1,500.00 nor more than $3,000.00 for each offense.  Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.  Failure to comply with any requirement set forth in subsection (f)(4) of this section shall create a rebuttable presumption that the business of vacation rental is being operated without a license.

i.

Penalty .

1.

In addition to any other penalty provided by law, any person who violates any provision of this section or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder shall be subject to a fine of not less than $1,500.00 nor more than $3,000.00 for each offense, or incarceration for a period not to exceed six months, or both.  Each day that such violation exists shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.

2.

If any building contains more than 6 licensed vacation rentals, all vacation rental licenses for dwelling units located within such building are subject to revocation.

3.

In addition to any fine or penalty imposed by this section, the corporation counsel may seek an injunction or other equitable relief in a court of competent jurisdiction to stop any violation of this section.

(Added Coun. J. 5-9-12, p. 27485, § 16; Amend Coun. J. 11-8-12, p. 38872, § 76)

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