Two weeks ago, a federal court in Illinois denied a request for a preliminary injunction against the City of Chicago’s recently-enacted short-term rental ordinance. In its order, the court determined that the ordinance, which seeks to regulate individuals’ rental of units on Internet-based services such as Airbnb, VRBO, or HomeAway, did not affect the plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights to free speech. The decision marks an interesting constitutional development in continued efforts by local governments to regulate short-term rentals.
In summer 2016, Chicago enacted what it calls the “shared housing ordinance,” or SHO. The SHO requires hosts of units available for short-term rent to register their housing units with the city prior to listing their units on any Internet-based services. Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway and other services are also required to register with the city. As applied to individuals, the SHO imposes requirements on the services provided by the short-term rental, and also requires individuals to maintain guest registries, and post their licensing information at the unit. Continue Reading Chicago Short-Term Rental Ordinance Does Not Implicate First Amendment: Federal District Court