Short-term rental bans become growing issue for local associations

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With a growing number of communities seeking to ban or limit short-term property rentals for services like Airbnb or Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO), local associations and their government affairs directors are working harder to stay on top of these types of situations.

Take, for example, the efforts of the North Shore-Barrington Association of REALTORS® (NSBAR) and local IAR GAD Howard Handler, who says the issue is not new to his area but it is becoming a “hot topic.”

Handler says the question caused debate several years ago in the city of Evanston, just north of Chicago. There, an ordinance was passed in June 2013 requiring owners to obtain a special license for short-term rentals. NSBAR was neutral on the license issue, but won exceptions for disasters, renovations and rent-backs (when owners sell their home but are unable to move out by the closing date and need to temporarily rent the home back from the new owners). It even won a provision that lets all owners rent their property once a year without a license.

Examples of situations like Evanston’s are described in the Oct. 20 NAR story, “The Next Property Rights Frontier,” by Carolyn Schwaar.

“We took the position that we were not there to advocate for those running quasi-hotels and remained neutral on the final ordinance, but we did want to ensure the average property owner maintains the right to rent their property on a short-term basis,” Handler was quoted.

The article also cites the numbers of properties listed with Airbnb, the subject of taxes that owners may have to pay on revenue from short-term rentals. It offers guidance to associations in a white paper, but does not take an official stance on short-term rentals. Read the entire article and find out why.

Hazel Crest officials meet with IAR, MORe representatives

(l to r) Tom Joseph, Hazel Crest Mayor Vernard Alsberry, Jr., Diane Abell and Jermaine Coney.

Delays for municipal point-of-sale inspections, required reinspections and occupancy permits – as well as excessive inspections beyond “health and safety” violations – were topics discussed by Illinois REALTORS®, Hazel Crest Mayor Vernard Alsberry, Jr., and Hazel Crest Village Manager Donna Gayden Wednesday.

IAR Local Government Affairs Director Tom Joseph, Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® South Government Affairs Committee Chair Diane Abell (a broker for Coldwell Banker in Flossmoor) and Jermaine Coney, Broker Prestige Partners Realty, represented Illinois REALTORS®.

Alsberry and Gayden pledged to “rectify these delays in administering the village inspection process.  Both acknowledged the need to encourage real estate and not impede it.”

An IAR economic impact study detailing the importance and local value of real estate transactions was shared with Alsberry and Gayden. Other discussion topics included the declining foreclosure market and overall improvement in the real estate market.

Images at Public Policy & Government Affairs Member Involvement Group Meeting

More than 175 Illinois REALTORS attended the IAR Public Policy & Government Affairs Member Involvement Group meeting Tuesday afternoon at the October Business Meetings at the Chicago Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center in Oak Brook, Ill.

Chairman Ron Abrams opened the meeting and then Director Government Affairs Greg St. Aubin and Assistant Director Legislative and Political Affairs Julie Sullivan reported on the 2015 Session of the General Assembly and legislation being considered.

Dana Hybl reported on the Housing Opporunity Working Group, Mabel Guzman spoke about the REALTORS Political Involvement Committee, NAR’s Shannon Burke gave an update on federal issues and IAR’s local GADs spoke briefly about one or two issues in their local communities. The subjects included issues such as: drones, transfer taxes, sewer backflow preventers, a proposed property tax hike, sign ordinances, a cloud tax, a professional parking permit for REALTORS, fire sprinklers, vacant properties ordinances and a possible Call For Action about rental inspections.

The GADs included:

  • Kristopher Anderson,
  • Kyle Anderson,
  • Brian Bernardoni,
  • Conor Brown,
  • Gideon Blustein,
  • Kristie Engerman,
  • Alex Finke,
  • Howard Handler,
  • Tom Joseph,
  • Neil Malone,
  • Jeff Merrinette and
  •  Mike Scobey.



REALTORS® show strength in numbers at Taste of Frankfort

(l to r) Karen Robertson, Jennifer Christopher, Frankfort Mayor Jim Holland, Jim Sim, Judy Panozzo, David McClintock and Ken Pytlewski.

Several members of the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® leadership team attended the Taste of Frankfort event Tuesday night, which featured a sampling of more than 20 Frankfort eateries.

Mayor Jim Holland, a long-time supporter of real estate issues, announced his intention to run for re-election in 2017 at the event.

The Three Rivers Association was represented by President-Elect Jim Sim, Immediate Past President Karen Robertson, Chief Executive Officer David McClintock, as well as Judy Panozzo and Ken Pytlewski from the board of directors, and Jennifer Christopher.

Local IAR Government Affairs Director Gideon Blustein also attended.

Get municipal property inspection information

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Find out the residential property inspection requirements in communities near you by referring to the Illinois Association of REALTORS®’ municipal requirements list for more than 150 Illinois municipalities.

With owner-occupied single-family homes, the inspection is usually done at the “point of sale,” which means the owner/seller must notify the municipality of the upcoming transfer.  That notification is followed by an inspection done by a municipal staff member, usually before the closing, with the seller typically paying for the repairs.  The inspector looks for building code violations.

Also, several municipalities inspect rental properties, either when there is a change of occupancy or on a regular basis (e.g. once every two or three years). Check the list for that information too.

Illinois REALTORS® can use the IAR list to see what nearby communities require for inspections:

We hope you find this list useful as you work with sellers and prep them for transfer of their properties.

IAR Advocacy and inspection ordinances
The IAR advocates for the inclusion of fair and reasonable inspection standards and procedures.  For example, IAR lobbies for:

  • Reasonable inspection fees.  Fee revenue should reflect the cost of the inspection program and not be a general revenue-raiser.
  • Inspection checklist.  This helps to ensure that the owner will know exactly what the municipality is inspecting for.
  • Adherence to health and safety standards.  Municipalities should not be requiring cosmetic repairs or upgrades.
  • Escrow provision.  With a municipality’s “point-of-sale” home inspection requirement, IAR lobbies for an escrow provision whereby, if the two parties agree, the buyer can make the required repairs to the property after the closing. The buyer would provide to the municipality an escrow to ensure that the repair work is done in a reasonable amount of time after closing and occupancy. IAR always lobbies for an escrow amount that is not excessive.