Skift Take

Airbnb doesn't really mind if users have to pay fees, but it will fight so that it won't have to provide data.

Chicago’s City Council has approved rules to address complaints that short-term rental companies like Airbnb are turning residential buildings into virtual hotels and party hotspots.

Council members passed the measure Wednesday by a vote of 43-7 after weeks of debate and a compromise that failed to fully satisfy critics on either side.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office says the regulations are the first in the nation to require such companies to regularly share data on rental listings with the city so it can check if they comply with the law.

It also imposes new licensing fees to fund enforcement and services for the homeless, and sets up a complaint hotline.

Opponents argue the new rules fall short.

Airbnb says its services boost neighborhood spending and provide homeowners with extra cash.

Ride-Hailing Companies Face New Regulations

Chicago aldermen also passed less restrictive regulations on ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft after the member who proposed the rules dropped an insistence on fingerprint background checks.

The City Council passed the measure 36 to 12 Wednesday after months of debate and intense companies lobbying.

Alderman Anthony Beale’s original proposal would have required drivers to be fingerprinted as part of a criminal background check. Critics said the companies already carry out background checks and the extra requirements would discourage or unfairly bar many from becoming drivers.

Beale agreed to delay fingerprinting for at least six months to allow more time to study that requirement.

The regulations passed Wednesday also require drivers to take a one-day course that can be completed online to get a license.

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Tags: airbnb, short-term rentals

Photo credit: Apartment buildings on North Winthrop Avenue in Chicago. The city approved regulations this week that require short-term rental companies like Airbnb to regularly share data on rental listings with the city. Digital Collections, UIC Library Follow / Flickr

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