Chicago, Illinois Short Term Rental Regulations

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Reviewed by Derick Hargrave

Last updated August 23, 2023

Chicago Short-Term Rental Regulations

Information is maintained by the community to provide helpful insights and links to local regulations, HostScouts does not provide legal or investment advice.

City Code of Ordinances

Renting out your property in Chicago for a short-term period of time might fall into several types:
  • Shared Housing Unit - Part or all of a dwelling unit rented to guests through a Short Term Residential Rental Intermediary such as Airbnb. A shared housing unit is required to obtain a Registration approved by the City. The Intermediary must apply and collect hotel accommodation tax on behalf of the shared housing unit host as part of each rental transaction and submit the tax to the City.
  • Vacation Rental - a dwelling unit with 6 or fewer sleeping rooms available for rent or for hire for transient occupancy by guests. The term “vacation rental” shall not include a dwelling unit for which a tenant has a month-to-month rental agreement, and the rental payments are paid on a monthly basis, corporate housing, guest suites, or shared housing units. In a building with 4 units or less, the vacation rental dwelling unit must be the licensee’s “Primary residence,” where the applicant lives on a daily basis for at least 245 days in the applicable calendar year. 

Vacation Rental businesses are allowed in these zoning districts: DC, DX, DR, RS1, RS2, RS3, RT3.5, RT4, RM4.5, RM5, RM5.5, RM6, RM6.5, B1, B2, B3, C1, C2. Check your Zoning designation here.  It shall be unlawful to engage in the business of vacation rental for any period of less than two consecutive nights until the commissioner and superintendent of police determine that such rentals can be conducted safely under conditions outlined in rules jointly and duly promulgated by the commissioner and superintendent. No circumstances shall a vacation rental be rented by the hour or for any period of less than 10 consecutive hours. Maximum occupancy limit of two persons, not including a guest's children under the age of 18, per guest room within the vacation rental, or no more than one person per 125 square feet of floor area of the dwelling unit for which the license is issued. For more information, see CHAPTER 4-13 Short-Term Residential Rental Intermediaries and Advertising Platforms and 4-6-300 Vacation Rentals

Business License Requirements

A shared housing unit is required to obtain a Registration approved by the City. Vacation Rentals must obtain a license from the City. The City of Chicago considers you a Shared Housing Unit Operator if you plan to list more than one shared housing unit and requires you to obtain a specific license. The Shared Housing Unit Operator License application process and fees can be found here. Register your business with all the appropriate government agencies and check state or federal laws and requirements.

Building and Housing Standards

Chicago has rules and regulations that specify minimum building, design, maintenance standards, habitability, health, and safety requirements. Some rules and regulations that apply to residential and non-residential properties may apply to your listing. Visit the Chicago Department of Buildings for more information.  

Tourist and Local Taxes

The Intermediary must apply and collect hotel accommodation tax on behalf of the shared housing unit host as part of each rental transaction and submit the tax to the City. Vacation Rentals must apply and collect hotel accommodation tax and submit it to the City themselves. Chicago imposes a 4.5% Hotel Accommodations Tax, 4% Shared Housing Surcharge, and 2% Domestic Violence Surcharge on the listing price, including any cleaning fee for reservations 29 nights and shorter.  Cook County also imposes a 1% Hotel Accommodations Tax on the listing price, including any cleaning fee for reservations 29 nights and shorter.  The State of Illinois also imposes certain hotel taxes that may apply to your listing as described in this Illinois Department of Revenue publication.

Other Rules

It is also essential to understand and abide by other contracts or rules that bind you, such as leases, condo boards, co-op rules, HOA rules, or rules established by tenant organizations. Please read your lease agreement and check with your landlord if applicable. Visit the City of Chicago for more information. 
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  • Short Term City Rating
  • Competition

  • Real Estate Cost

  • STR Regulations

  • Seasonality

  • Rental Rates


Chicago, Illinois Quick Stats

Short-term rentals have gained a lot of traction in the last few years. The trends and statistics of this sector are constantly changing, and having access to accurate data is essential for making sound investment decisions.

STR License Required
Tourist Season
April to May; September to October
Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)
Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD)
Review our Chicago Illinois short-term rental analytics guide, including rates, property types and other metrics

Want to learn more about Chicago?

Hostscouts has you covered. Our guides for this city cover topics that can help you research cities across the US quickly and easily.

Check out our Chicago rental analytics guide if you're interested in data on the Chicago rental market.

City Activities

Review the popular activities that hosts include in their property positing in Chicago.

City Attractions

The most popular local and regional landmarks hosts usually include in their Airbnb or Vrbo property listings.

Chicago Rental Rates & Fees

Explore nightly rates that hosts list their properties and the average fees for pets and additional guests.

Property Types & Sizes

What are the most popular property sizes for rent? Research whether a 1, 2, or 3 bedroom best fits Chicago guests.

Interested in other Illinois cities?

Check out the Illinois short term rental regulations directory 

What makes Chicago a great place to invest?

Chicago is the third-largest city in the United States of America, with a population of 2.7 million people, and is a city full of attractions. Whether you're looking for entertainment, food, art, or relaxation, Chicago has it all. Here are some of the city's most popular attractions: 
  • Art Institute of Chicago – Located in the Gold Coast neighborhood, the Art Institute of Chicago is home to world-renowned paintings and sculptures.
  • Shedd Aquarium – A must-visit attraction for anyone visiting Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium features more than 24,000 marine specimens from around the world.
  • Navy Pier – One of the most iconic attractions in Chicago, Navy Pier features a variety of restaurants, shopping venues, and entertainment options.
  • Millennium Park – Home to the Bean – one of Chicago's most famous landmarks – Millennium Park is a beautiful place to spend a summer day. There are also a number of museums located in Millennium Park, including the Museum of Science and Industry and The Field Museum. 
  • The Magnificent Mile - This premier shopping district features over 460 stores and boutiques, ranging from luxury retailers to trendy fashion boutiques. Visitors can also find a variety of restaurants and cafes along the Magnificent Mile.
  • Chicago Botanic Garden – The Chicago Botanic Garden is one of the world's most beautiful, peaceful gardens. The garden features a variety of displays, including a Japanese garden and an Italian garden.
  • United Center – Home to the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago Blackhawks hockey teams, United Center is a must-see attraction for sports fans visiting Chicago.
  • Buckingham Fountain – Located in Grant Park, Buckingham Fountain features fountains that choreograph dance routines every hour between 6:00 am and 9:10 pm.
  • Navy Pier Ferris Wheel – One of the most popular rides at Navy Pier, this Ferris Wheel offers views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline.
  • Sears Tower – Reminiscent of an enormous work boot, the Sears Tower is an iconic skyscraper in downtown Chicago, home to offices, stores, and restaurants.

Chicago Nearby Cities

Local Real Estate

How expensive is the real estate in Chicago?

The cost of real estate can vary widely depending on the location, size, and features of the property, as well as market conditions. The median home value in Chicago has decreased 0% over the past year, and the average price per square foot is $268, which is higher than the national average.

Median Sale Price


0% YoY

Median per Square Foot


1% YoY

Average Monthly Rent


6% YoY

Property Descriptions

The most common terms hosts include in their listings for Chicago, Illinois

Word Cloud for Chicago, Illinois Short Term Rentals

Common terms for Chicago short term rental listings.

When potential guests are scrolling through listings on Airbnb, they’re looking for certain essential information to help them decide if your property is the right fit for their needs. As a host, ensuring that your listing includes all the relevant information that guests will be looking for is vital.

Some of the must-have elements of a property description include:

  • Location: Guests will want to know where your property is located in relation to popular attractions, public transportation, and other points of interest.
  • Amenities: What amenities does your property offer? Be sure to list all features guests can access, such as a pool, hot tub, parking, etc.
  • Informative: The average listing in Chicago has a description approximately 1,656 words long. Make sure yours is long enough to describe your property but doesn't require your potential guest to read a novel.

After reviewing more than 7,796 listings in Chicago, we've consolidated the most common terms on the word cloud. The larger text represents a term that is used more often. The top ten mentioned terms are Chicago, City, Place, Block, Comfortable, Downtown, Walking, Easy, Best, and Stocked.

What are the most popular tourist activities in Chicago?

Whether renting a house, an apartment, or a room, you should include popular tourist activities in your posting. The most common choices mentioned on property listings in Chicago involve going to the City Centre, Museums, the Zoo, Cycling, and Swimming. When you write your listing, have a section with recommended activities near the property to give your guests an idea of what is available.

City Centre





Adventure Activities

Health Spa

Outlet Shopping





Local Attractions

What attractions do hosts highlight to guests?

There are quite a few popular attractions in Chicago, including McCormick Place, Millennium Park, United Center, Grant Park, and Michigan Avenue. Below we've included the most popular local and regional landmarks hosts usually include in their Airbnb or Vrbo property listings. Many hosts like to show off lesser-known regional landmarks visitors might not have heard of.

Well Known Attraction

Willis Tower

Included on 65% of listings

Well Known Attraction

Millennium Park

Included on 64% of listings

Well Known Attraction

Art Institute of Chicago

Included on 64% of listings

Well Known Attraction

Field Museum of Natural History

Included on 63% of listings

Well Known Attraction

McCormick Place

Included on 63% of listings

Regional Landmark

Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Included on 62% of listings

Regional Landmark

Water Tower Place

Included on 61% of listings

Well Known Attraction

Michigan Avenue

Included on 60% of listings

Regional Landmark

Lincoln Park Zoo

Included on 59% of listings

Well Known Attraction

United Center

Included on 59% of listings

Well Known Attraction

Chicago Riverwalk

Included on 57% of listings

Well Known Attraction

Grant Park

Included on 56% of listings

What’s the weather like in Chicago, Illinois?

The weather is generally milder than the national average, with an average high temperature of around 58°, while the average low is about 46°. The rainfall is much heavier, averaging about 31 inches per year, compared to the national average of about 27 inches. Snowfall can be rather heavy, averaging less than 10 inches per year. The humidity levels in Chicago are generally lower than the national average, and the city has a mix of clouds and sunshine for most of the year.


December through February

25° Low 35° High

Muggy Days
0.0 days


March through May

44° Low 57° High

Muggy Days
1.1 days


June through August

68° Low 80° High

Muggy Days
34.8 days


September through November

50° Low 62° High

Muggy Days
6.0 days