While Airbnb encourages users to “read your lease agreement and check with your landlord if applicable,” it does not require hosts to prove that their lease terms allow for short-term rentals.
So perhaps it’s no surprise that you can now rent half of a 150 sq. ft. New York City dorm room for a cool $80.
A search through Airbnb by The Huffington Post found dorm listings at MIT, Temple University and the University of Chicago. The Washington Post found even more at Columbia University, Brooklyn College and Berkeley.
Never mind the safety or liability issues, is this even legal? Ask 19-year-old Emerson College student Jack Worth. According to the Boston Globe, it’s against the school’s mandatory housing and residency hall contract to rent out or sublease a dorm room, or beds. The same goes for a residence hall at Berkeley, where listing a dorm room on Airbnb violates the housing contract.
Sadly, this isn’t the only case of Airbnb giving wink-wink, nudge-nudge approval to illicit behavior on its site. In communities around the country – including college towns – Airbnb openly allows commercial operators list multiple residential properties on a full-time basis, just like a hotel – but without all the rules, regulations and taxes that come with a legitimate lodging business.