Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection
City Services

Shared Housing and Accommodations Licensing

The City Council enacted the Shared Housing Ordinance on June 22, 2016, which changed the regulation of short-term residential rental activity in the City of Chicago. A “short term residential rental” is part or all of a dwelling unit that is rented for transient occupancy by guests, but is not a hotel. There are various license or registration requirements for short-term residential rentals and for internet platforms that connect guests with hosts of short-term residential rentals.

If you are a host of a short-term residential rental, you may fall into one or more of three categories:

- Shared Housing Unit Operator
- Vacation Rental
- Bed & Breakfast

If you are an internet platform that connects guests with hosts of short-term residential rentals you will fall into one of two categories:

- Short Term Residential Rental Intermediary
- Short Term Residential Rental Advertising Platform

For additional details, please select one of the links below that best describes your proposed business activity.

For hosts of short term residential rentals:

  • Shared Housing Host / Shared Housing Unit
    A "shared housing host" is an owner or tenant of a shared housing unit who rents the unit to guests. A “shared housing unit” is part or all of a dwelling unit that is rented to guests through a Short Term Residential Rental Intermediary such as Airbnb. A shared housing unit is required to be registered with, and approved by, the City via a Short Term Residential Rental Intermediary as part of the process of signing up with the Intermediary, but is not required to obtain a license. The Intermediary must apply and collect hotel accommodation tax on behalf of the shared housing unit host as part of each rental transaction, and must submit the tax to the City.
  • Vacation Rental or Bed & Breakfast
    A “Vacation Rental” is a dwelling unit that is rented to guests. A “Bed & Breakfast Establishment” is an owner-occupied residential building in which 11 or fewer rooms are rented to guests. Both Vacation Rentals and Bed & Breakfast Establishments must obtain a license from the City. Vacation Rentals must apply and collect hotel accommodation tax and submit it to the City themselves. Vacation Rentals and Bed & Breakfast Establishments may advertise or list their rentals through a Short Term Residential Advertising Platform.
  • Shared Housing Unit Operator
    A “Shared Housing Unit Operator” is an owner or operator of more than one Shared Housing Unit. A Shared Housing Unit Operator must obtain a license from the City.

For internet platforms that connect guests with hosts of short-term residential rentals:

  • Short Term Residential Rental Intermediary
    A Short Term Residential Rental Intermediary is a person or company who for compensation or a fee uses an internet platform to connect guests with short term residential rental providers, and who primarily lists shared housing units on its platform. A Short Term Residential Rental Intermediary must electronically register its shared housing hosts with the City and must remove unapproved hosts, and must apply and collect hotel accommodation tax and submit it to the City as part of each rental transaction facilitated through the platform.
  • Short Term Residential Rental Advertising Platform
    A Short Term Residential Rental Advertising Platform is a person or company who for compensation or a fee uses an internet platform to connect guests with short term residential rental providers, and who primarily lists licensed bed-and-breakfast establishments, vacation rentals or hotels on its platform. A Short Term Residential Rental Advertising Platform is not required to apply and collect accommodation tax or submit it to the City as part of each rental transaction facilitated through the platform.

Other Accommodations License:
- Hotel

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