Oswego looks at setting minimum stay requirements for short-term rentals

Oswego Village Hall, 100 Parkers Mill, Oswego

Oswego village trustees are moving forward with regulations for short-term rental properties.

During the June 11 Committee of the Whole meeting, there was consensus among village trustees that short-term rentals would have to be for a minimum of seven days to deter potential problems, such as a home being rented for a one-night event like a party.

In addition, owners of properties being used for short-term rentals would have to pay a $2,000 annual fee and they would be inspected on a yearly basis. Trustees are expected to vote on an ordinance spelling out the rules at a future meeting.

Village staff reached out to homeowners associations in Oswego and asked them if they impose any regulations on short term rentals. Of the 28 homeowners associations that responded, 18 said they have restrictions on rentals ranging a 30-day minimum stay to a prohibition of rentals of any kind.

The other 10 homeowners associations said they don’t have any restrictions on short term rentals.

The village currently doesn’t regulate short-term rentals. It is estimated that there are about six short-term rental units listed on Airbnb and Vrbo within the village, Oswego Development Services Director Rod Zenner said.

“In the past, the village has received three calls for service for police assistance from short-term rental properties,” he said.

Following a public hearing, Oswego planning and zoning commissioners in April 2022 unanimously recommended approval of requiring owners of short-term rentals to register and pay a $2,000 annual fee. In addition, they recommended that short-term rentals would have to be a minimum of three days and a maximum of 30 days and that the owner of a short-term rental would be required to have less than three adjudicated violations annually to maintain their registration.

Those living in unincorporated Kendall County must register with the county if they are renting their house as a short-term rental. The property cannot be rented for more than 30 days at one time.

Naperville requires a minimum 30-day rental period. Village Trustee Tom Guist said he would be in favor of Oswego implementing such a rule.

“I think Naperville has it right,” he said. “I would be for that.”

Guist said he is trying to prevent neighbors from seeing “a constant flow of new people coming in.”

Village trustee Jennifer Jones Sinnott said she had safety concerns about short-term rentals. She wanted the village to require that units being used as short-term rentals be annually inspected.

Other trustees agreed. Zenner said that staff anticipated the village would have to conduct inspections if the village were to regulate short-term rentals.

Village trustee Kit Kuhrt noted the property’s license could be revoked if there are continued problems. Village attorney David Silverman said the Village Board will have to come up with an ordinance that spells out what kind of violations would warrant the property’s license being revoked.

“You probably are going to need to have some sort of due process in terms of a hearing,” Silverman said.