Chicago's Airbnb Home-Sharing Rules are 'Draconian,' Lawsuit Says - The Chicago Tribune - Liberty Justice Center

Chicago’s Airbnb Home-Sharing Rules are ‘Draconian,’ Lawsuit Says – The Chicago Tribune

Nov. 16, 2016

A group of homeowners is suing the city of Chicago, alleging the city’s new “draconian and unintelligible restrictions” on Airbnb and other home-sharing platforms are unconstitutional and punish responsible homeowners.

This is the second lawsuit filed this month that takes aim at the city’s new home-sharing rules, which are set to go into effect fully next month. The regulations lay down the law for homeowners renting their living spaces out on Airbnb, the home-sharing platform that has become a thorn in the hotel industry’s side.

The new regulations call for an extra tax on home-sharing hosts, a limit on the number of units in buildings that can be rented out on the platforms and a requirement that hosts maintain records on guests, among other rules.

The ordinance “arbitrarily and irrationally” deprives homeowners of their rights to offer their homes to guests, and violates the Illinois and U.S. constitutions, according to the most recent lawsuit, filed Tuesday morning in the Cook County Circuit Court.

Liberty Justice Center, a Chicago-based nonprofit litigation center representing the plaintiffs in the case, teamed up with a Phoenix-based think tank called the Goldwater Institute on the suit in hopes of blocking the regulations. The four plaintiffs — Leila Mendez, Sheila Sasso, Alonso Zaragoza and Michael Lucci — have rented out their homes on Airbnb.

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