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LandlordTenantAnswer, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 28346
Experience:  Landlord-Tenant Disputes, Leases, Evictions, Foreclosures.
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It's actually for Illinois not CA. I am currently an Airbnb

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It's actually for Illinois not CA. I am currently an Airbnb host in Chicago. I fully share 2 apartments on Airbnb short rentals website. Recently Airbnb became regulated by the city of Chicago. Feel free to visit their page to learn about their new regulations on Shared Housing in the city. My question is the following. I've been told by a previous landlord that I could not do Airbnb because I was breaking the HOA rules and regulations of the building, and I left. The city has yesterday issued a notice that all hosts with more than 1 listing need to get a special license as 'unit operators' which is a business license. As of now, the landlords or HOA cannot find out if I'm using these apartments for commercial purposes or not, unless they invade my privacy and my internet freedom rights, they can't legally do that without a liability from me as a tenant. Now that the city is requiring me to register my apartments as a 'business' my landlord could easily make it a liability against me, because he can ask the city for the information and he would know I obtained a business license for a shared housing unit operator. Could this increase my risk of being liable by the landlord or building's HOA or it doesn't make any difference and they could make me equally liable with or without a license regardless?

Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help with your question and concern

Customer: replied 27 days ago.

Good morning. As a tenant, you need to comply with the HOA rules. If this is forbidden by the HOA in your rental building and they find out, you would receive a notice to cease and stop renting and/or a fine could be imposed and you would have to pay it. Moreover, this could be a violation of your lease agreement with the landlord and they could proceed and evict. The issue with the license is per local regulation, so if this is something someone is doing, they need to obtain the license. If they do not and are renting, they could be fined. This is outside the issue if your rental with the landlord and the rules of the HOA, so if either found out, they could use it against you and fine or possible evict.

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
I understand, I've been taking my chances here because I have not yet heard of anyone in Chicago who has been evited because of this. That being said, I know there are rules and regulations to comply with if/when they mention short term rentals (most of them don't). Now, my question comes not so much from an eviction concern, but from liability. Meaning, is eviction the worst that can happen to me or would they go beyond that and sue me trying to get part of the money I got from my airbnb rentals or even worst, try to blame me for possible losses because of me doing airbnb?

I do not think it would get to that point. If they sued you, it would need to be for damages. If you have a lease and you breached it and they evicted, they may try and also sue and go after you for the rent which is owed, while the rental sits idle. They are not likely going to go after you and say that you owe them a share of what you received, since your obligation and agreement with them, is to pay your rent each month. Now, if they can show damages as a direct result of this, they can try and recover but normally they just want the tenant out, so the conduct ceases.

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
Well, that's good to know. I mean, eviction is not cool but I just wanted to know what are the worst risks to evaluate if I should continue to do this or not. I already had a bad experience in my previous apartment but I was always honest about what I was doing when they approached me and asked me. They said they were not comfortable with me doing it and I said I was leaving (at that point I was in a month-to-month) and so I did. They were even nice about trying to keep me there by suggesting me other options like a roomate. I gave them the notice and I left, they were ok with it. But no everyone is the same, and I wanted to know if I ever encountered a harsh landlord, what was the worst that could happen to me. It seems that eviction would be the worst case scenario for what you are telling me, and that they would not pursue futher actions under normal circumstances. I'm also interpreting that the business license from the city could not be used against me other than for an eviction process, is this correct?

The city could go after the landlord and/or you, for renting without the business license. It would likely result in a fine, which you would be liable for. The eviction is what the landlord would use to remove you, if you are in violation of the lease and/or HOA rules and regulations, assuming they do not simply allow this to cease and allow you to remain. You are welcome. Please let me know if there is anything else, as I would be happy to respond. If not, please remember to rate my help at this time at the top of this page, prior to leaving, so I can receive the proper credit, for our time together. A 5 STAR rating is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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Customer: replied 27 days ago.
Thank you Sir! Great help!

My pleasure