Chicago Airbnb Question

9 Replies


I'm fairly new to the real estate market having just bought my first rental property in Chicago (Wicker Park) at the beginning of July. I was thinking of purchasing some more property within the next year and thought about possibly doing an Airbnb in Chicago. What does the timeline look like for applying and receiving a Shared Housing Unit license? Also, I'm open to any advice or thoughts in general as well as I'm just trying to learn.



So to confirm, let's say I buy a unit in a building that allows Airbnb, all I would need to do is set up my listing on Airbnb and they deal with applying for the license? And I can still host a unit without having the license as long as Airbnb has began the application process?

Hi Nick,

Yes, when you create your listing, Airbnb will take care of the application and you can run your Airbnb until the city approves or denies it. If you're purchasing a unit in a condo building, even if short term rentals are allowed, you want to make sure it's going to stay allowed. Even if they specifically allow short term rentals - vs. just saying nothing - you'd want to find out what it takes for the HOA to change the regulation. If it can be done more easily, make sure you have a Plan B.

@Mark Reitman @Nick Brown I know this is an older thread but how are you guys faring thus far in your ABBs? Also, Mark, are there are condo buildings or places that you could recommend I check into that you know does allow STR/ABBs and won't plan to change that? where do you have yours? maybe i can look into any open condos in the same buildings you guys have?

@Vinci S. I have an apartment in Lincoln Park. Back in April, when things hit the fan, I leased it to a tenant for a year. We'll see what the STR market looks like in early 2020 before deciding to switch it back to short term and go for any others. All of my others are now out of state.

There isn't a place where you can find STR-friendly HOAs. I have MLS access so, when I'm looking for myself, I can use a keyword search to find available units in friendly buildings. If you need help sourcing those units, I'm happy to chat.