June 25, 2017

HomeAway lawsuit alleges Chicago’s ‘deeply flawed’ home-sharing law is unconstitutional

Chicago Skyline
By Bert Kaufmann from Roermond, Netherlands (Chicago) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

HomeAway’s suit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court, alleges that Chicago’s shared-housing ordinance violates the First, Fourth and 14th amendments. (Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune) Home-sharing platform HomeAway.com is joining the fight against Chicago’s shared-housing ordinance with a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn the regulations.

The ordinance, passed last summer, seeks to impose stricter rules on home-sharing sites such as Airbnb , HomeAway and its subsidiary VRBO.com. This marks the third lawsuit seeking to delay the rollout of the rules or have them declared unconstitutional. But this is the first from one of the regulated platforms.

The first two suits, filed on behalf of homeowners, were partially successful, delaying the imposition of the rules by about three months and leading to tweaks from City Hall. But in March, a judge denied a motion seeking to temporarily block the regulations, and they went fully into effect.

HomeAway’s suit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleges that the “deeply flawed law” threatens fines that are based on categories “that cannot meaningfully be distinguished from one another” and violates the First, Fourth and 14th amendments.

“The flaws in the ordinance make it impossible for a person of ordinary intelligence, […]

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