Are Flats Chicago’s Short Stay apartments properly licensed?

by Joe Zekas on 7/8/14

Chicago’s vacation rental licensing ordinance (“Ordinance”) imposes a number of restrictions and requirements on short-term rentals for transient occupancy. For starters, it requires licensing and a payment of a fee of $500 per unit every two years.

Flats Chicago’s Short Stay units at 4875 N Magnolia in Uptown are clearly subject to the ordinance, but Flats Chicago appears to be violating the ordinance in a number of respects.

The Ordinance requires that the license number for vacation rentals be included in any online advertising and on the website for the property. No license number is included in Airbnb ads for Short Stay units or at Flats Chicago’s website.

The ad for a Short Stay Unit at Airbnb quotes maximum occupancy as 3 people in a studio apartment. The Ordinance requires 125 square feet of living area for each occupant. Floor plans online at Flats Chicago’s website for 4875 N Magnolia don’t include dimensions, but the plans appear to come up short of 375 square feet.

The building at 4875 N Magnolia is zoned RT-4, a classification that requires a zoning non-conforming use approval for vacation rentals.

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