CHICAGO (CBS) — The City of Chicago is cracking down on partying by banning one night rentals through sites like Airbnb. The ban was unanimously approved by the Chicago City Council Wednesday. The ban comes after years of issues in neighborhoods across the city including everything from wild parties and destroyed property to violent crime.
The new city rules apply to all short-term rental properties like AirBnb and HomeAway, and they create more than a one night rental ban. Now people applying to host short-term rentals have to submit their applications directly to the city, not just a site like Airbnb, giving the city the ability to immediately revoke a permit.
There a big fines at stake. Any host who uses space to allow for parties, drug trafficking, gang activity and prostitution will face fines up to $10,000. In Old Town people who have lived near problem one-night rental properties are breathing a sigh of relief, saying this isn not a magic fix, but it is a start.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction,” said Diane Fitzgerald, who lives next to a property previously used as one-night rental. “There are other steps that need to be taken, but I think that will get rid of the young people who are looking for a cheap place to host a party.”
A spokesperson for Airbnb said the company believes the ban will block business travel in Chicago and ultimately hurt the city’s tourism numbers.
CBS 2’s Tara Molina talked to some Airbnb hosts who agree and say this ban is punishing everyone for issues created by a few bad hosts.