New - First concern is Mommy May I?

As we have all been brainwashed into believing that we must run to government first to beg to do something with our private property “Mommy May I”… in true surf form that is my first concern.

I live in a small town in a suburb of Chicago, I’m looking online and I don’t see any rules for STR on my cities website (Wood Dale).

In fact they have a clause that says rules for renting do apply in this case:

“3. Hotels, motels, and other structures which rent rooms to occupants which are primarily transient in nature”

Is it then best to go to my alderman and ask permission or beg for forgiveness?

Have you looked around your neighborhood for Air rentals? That should give you an idea about the feasibility of doing STR.

An anonymous call to your alderman and the local tax authority would be enlightening. Specifically ask what needs to be done to be ‘legal’ to have an Airbnb rental in your home (if they want to know your address, be prepared to give one that is several blocks away).

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Is your business transient in nature or do you rent longer term, the platform you use is irrelevant.

Small towns can really be intrusive.
I am thinking you are in a strict town, after perusing the ordinances.
Here is something that may stop you. -
Tourist homes and Lodging houses are prohibited under your land use code.

C. Particular Home Based Businesses Prohibited:

  1. Any home based business that cannot satisfy the requirements of subsection B of this section shall be prohibited.
  2. The following home-based business uses are prohibited regardless of satisfaction of the requirements of subsection B of this section.

Automotive/motor vehicle services.

Building and construction services with on-site equipment and/or material storage (excludes contractor offices).


Employment agency.

Funeral homes.

Medical or dental offices, clinics or hospitals.

Nursery schools and daycare centers.


Stables, kennels, or animal hospitals.

Tourist homes and lodging houses.

Wholesale or retail businesses (excludes online/internet sales and residential short-term sales in accordance with section 4.509 of this Code). (Ord. O-17-025, 11-16-2017)

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orchard lakesThe City of Wood Dale requires all residential rental units to be registered with the City and pass an annual life safety inspection. As of 2018, there are approximately 900 rental units within the City limits including apartments, townhomes, and single-family residences.

Landlords/property owners must submit a Rental Registration Application and Rental Unit Schedule and Fee Calculation along with a Rental Inspection Consent Form to allow the City’s Code Official to enter the unit. The annual registration fee is $150.00 per single-family residential property and, for multi-family buildings, the fee is $150.00 per building plus an additional $50.00 for each unit within the building in excess of one. Once a completed application (including the Rental Unit Schedule and Fee Calculation) has been submitted and payment has been made, the owner must contact the Community Development Department to schedule an inspection. The Community Development Department staff can be reached at 630-766-5133, Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm or via email at

Property Owner/Agent and Tenant may also submit the Rental Registration Form and Rental Inspection Consent Form online, the following links will re-direct you to the online forms. If submitting Online Registration & Consent Form, please submit Fee Payment via mail to: 404 N. Wood Dale Rd. Wood Dale, IL 60191 Attn: Community Development Department - Rental Registration.

Rental Registration Application, including Rental Unit Schedule and Fee Calculation, Online Form
Downloadable Rental Registration Application
Downloadable Rental Unit Schedule and Fee Calculation Sheet
Rental Inspection Consent Online Form - This form must be completed by the tenant within 30 days of an inspection
During the inspection, the City Code Official will identify problems and concerns beginning with life safety issues. The Code Official has a checklist of items that need to be verified for compliance (such as verifying that smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are operational). If any items on the checklist are found to be deficient, the property owner will be required to bring the property into compliance with all applicable codes. A re-inspection will then be scheduled by the Code Official. Once the property is in compliance, a rental registration certificate will be issued to the owner.

It is recommended that the Property Owner/Agent review the Pre-Inspection Guide for Landlords prior to the inspection.

City of Wood Dale’s regulations and ordinances regarding Residential Rental Property can be found in the City of Wood Dale Municipal Code Chapter 6 Article XVI. To access the Municipal Code, please click here.

And one more thing ( not knowing what kind of rental you are considering ) The Town’s Pre inspection guide states this: “Property zoned single family may
not have dwelling units added.”