Hey, there! Log in / Register

Entrepreneurial Emerson student faces discipline for trying to rent out dorm room on AirBnB

BostInno reports on both his alleged infraction and the online campaign to support him.

Neighborhoods: 

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

any roommates? Would love to know their take on this arrangement.

up
Voting closed 0

Who cares what a bunch of naive simpletons who haven't thought through the implications of him subletting his room are?

People who think he's in the right are the type of shallow thinkers that have yielded the sanity of the conversation on the "sharing" economy to the corporations making bank off of enabling others to ignore the law.

Not only is there the security exposure of letting non-students into the hall, but also the risk of what is brought with them (bedbugs, cockroaches, etc.) that could effect the whole dorm. Then there's the school's liability to the health of the vacationers as well as their liability to the city and state for allowing their dorms to act as hotels which have completely separate regulations, taxes, and zoning.

But, no, let me sign this petition because he wasn't hurting anyone.

up
Voting closed 0

but how exactly do you get from him trying to sublet his dorm room to something something evil corporations? Or is that just your baseline that I need to subtract in order to get at what you're actually trying to say?

up
Voting closed 0

The connection isn't obscure. He was renting his room because AirBNB makes it easy. They enable people to violate the law, their leases, zoning laws, etc. without any concern for the effects of their actions. It's not just AirBNB. Uber is getting backing from Google, etc. These companies eject all risk onto their "contractors" and turn a blind eye to whether proper taxes, regulations, etc. are being followed.

The sharing economy is a defrauding of the public for the profit of a company. The fact that there are people so accepting of this that they're defending the guy being thrown out just shows how insidious this fraud is.

up
Voting closed 0

So is there any economic relationship that doesn't have fraud and evil at its heart? Would it have been only the kid's fault if he used Craigslist, because that's a nonprofit?

You never did tell me what it was that you did for a living that gave you this interesting outlook on life.

up
Voting closed 0

Did he advertise on Craigslist?

How many students did that before AirBnB existed?

Why is my offense at sharing companies some how indicative of every "economic relationship".

My job is irrelevant.

Your entire response is just a pile of red herrings.

up
Voting closed 0

given your other far-left posts that you're fully committed.

Please do correct.

You're job's only relevant in the sense that knowing what it is will help me to understand who you are and where you're coming from, the better to argue with.

For example, my profile says I'm an engineer. That's not just me bragging that I'm the smartest nerd in the chess club, it's meant to inform you, my illustrious interlocutor, that I value and appreciate the quantifiable over the unquantifiable.

I also said I work in defense. Again, that's not me bragging about all the secret-squirrel shit I do at work. That's meant to inform you that I have more than trivial visibility into how the federal government does things, and that I am less than impressed by (mainly) socialistic appeals to the awesome power ability of government to make the sky blue and our dreams happy.

Your turn.

up
Voting closed 0

"You're job's only relevant in the sense that knowing what it is will help me to understand who you are and where you're coming from, the better to argue with."

That's called ad hominem. You haven't addressed a single one of his major relevant points.

up
Voting closed 0

Wow. I am seriously in awe. This comment is a rare gem, a thing of gentle beauty. The only thing keeping it from being the platonic ideal of bad-faith libertarian engineer's-disease-laden pedantry is a picture of you, trilby tilted rakishly to one side, wearing an expression of every-so-slightly-condescending pity as you deign to explain the workings of the political machine to the rest of us naive slobs. Intro to Political Theory, taught by A Guy Who Is Definitely Qualified Because He Works For A Defense Contractor.

Oh, sorry, do I need to disclose my profession as a cover charge to get into this party? I'm also an engineer, which makes the "smartest nerd in the chess club" aside even better. Facts and logic, bro. We appreciate your bringing quantifiable arguments to this frivolous navel-gazing affair.

Anyway, back to my desk job, helping pie-in-the-sky socialists seize the means of production from you hard-working realists. Kaz, is our drum circle still meeting at 3:00?

up
Voting closed 0

It was moved to 4:20.

up
Voting closed 0

Touche sir.

Your comment made me laugh so I'll concede I was an ass.

up
Voting closed 0

Craigslist is very much FOR PROFIT, but if the kid had sublet his dorm room via an actual non profit, it still would have been both the kid's fault and the organization that encouraged him to break both the legal contract and the social contracts that he did.

up
Voting closed 0

If it's the site's fault for encouraging him to break his contract, is it the post office's fault if you mail stolen goods to an out of state P.O. box? Or the phone company's fault if you solicit donations for The Totally Legitimate Orphans Fund?

Beyond logging transactions and collecting identifying information, for you know, afterward if things go south, no online marketplace company can seriously take responsibility for making sure all of its users are obeying every letter of every law.

Neither can brick and mortar places, for that matter. Say I sell a pair of jeans to a used clothing shop. Are you saying that they need to ask for my original sales receipt to make sure I didn't pinch it? Other than taking my name, they can't really do that much to verify that I had a legitimate right to sell those jeans.

up
Voting closed 0

In the case of AirBnB 0% of the users are legitimate. That is something the company well knows, yet does not care about. Uber does the same thing.

All of their users are violating state [and often municipal] laws on registering and paying taxes as a hotel/rooming house/what have you.

Most of their users are violating either their lease or apartment/condo bylaws by providing short term rentals. The small handful of free-standing home owners are still violating laws per the above.

up
Voting closed 0

Perhaps a wee bit of exaggeration?

up
Voting closed 0

Kaz, see my comment below. Pretty sure this is a joke-- Flip, Douche, and Hammer in the photo are clearly not concerned about inclusion.

Also, re: "There is nothing criminal with providing cheap housing to travelers."

Criminal "_with_"? First of all, it's "criminal _about_"; second of all, Martyr Bro isn't being charged with a crime and thrown in jail more like violation of a lease, and fined for probably less than the cost of renting his room*. It's a fucking joke, that's all; but again, cut 'em a break, because, you know, safety school.

"Criminal with"... ha. Keep pushing those buttons, guys, someone else'll take care of the communications.

*Or not. One doesn't call on Emerson kids to do math, either.

up
Voting closed 0

Those rooms at Emerson must be much, much cushier than my dorm room in the 70s. I maybe could have rented mine for $5. It would have come with my surly, chain-smoking roommate.

up
Voting closed 0

The brownstones were gone by the time I left, Most rooms would be indistinguishable from hotel rooms aside from the shitty furniture and the shared bathrooms.

Anyone who supports that kid is an idiot though. He clearly violated school housing policy. And all these fellow students supporting him, what happens when he rents the room out to some meathead creeper who rapes someone? Where would your support be then? Jesus Bad enough females have to contend with their peers doing terrible shit, let alone some older dude stalkin around his Air BnB digs hunting for tail, giving girls the Hot Cosby treatment.
They'd all be singing a very different tune then.
They should just boot him from the dorms. Rent in an apt is cheaper and he can Air BnB it to his heart's delight. Let him get his education, this is his first lesson in "reading the fine print."

up
Voting closed 0

I wholeheartedly agree about people renting to AirBnB'ers (if that's a term lol) who rent the property themselves. I've heard stories of people coming back to their homes only to find strange bodily fluids, alcohol, and chaos all round...also an instance where someone's home was being used as a meth lab. It's one thing to circumvent the excess costs of cab medallions ala' Uber and Lyft, but it's another to place tenants in hazard's way by allowing some random schmoe to rent a room below them via AirBnb

up
Voting closed 0

Yeah, let his landlord eat the damages when his airbandb "guest" wrecks the place and this broke college kid conveniently has no money to pay for repairs or court settlements, or straight up skips town. Super!

He can airbandb when he OWNS his home.

up
Voting closed 0

AirBNB covers the property for damage @ $1M

This took less than 10 seconds to look up.

https://www.airbnb.com/guarantee

up
Voting closed 0

I'm a small time owner-occupant landlord and no renter gets a key without vigorous background checks. But I guess it's okay if they let any random jamoke have run of the place and I get raped in my own home since I don't live in a dorm? WTF man.

Virtually all lease agreements forbid subletting without prior written permission. AirBandB just counts on jerk tenants who don't care and absentee landlords who won't notice. That doesn't make it legal, much less safe.

up
Voting closed 0

When I was in college, plenty of creepers got signed in between about 1 and 3 am Thursday-Saturday night. "I'm soooooo drunkkkkk and soooooo horrnnyyyy and I want to exercise my right to hook up without regard to the other six hundred people in the building!"

up
Voting closed 0

It makes for a good laugh. The - I hope college students didn't write these - quotes defending Jack are pretty good as well.

Everyone is born with the fundamental human right to turn their dorms into Airbnbs.

Liberté, égalité, make lots of money!

There is nothing criminal with providing cheap housing to travelers. Jack Worth gave travelers from far and wide a taste of boston life and the Emerson experience simply because he wanted to help those who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford to stay in the downtown area. If the Emerson community is as inclusive as it claims to be, it should act it.

Jack is providing a taste of Boston life? Is he renting to cannibals? Providing the Emerson experience to someone who is from anywhere in the world and is just looking for a cheap bed? The guest probably never heard of Emerson.

The not so funny side is I wonder whether any of the boys in the photo of the page containing these quotes realize that if any of them were living in the dorm that they could have been the recipient of unwanted attentions? Rapists do not necessarily limit themselves to women. I hope the parents of these kids realize how naive their kids are and help them understand that they are not living in some isolated gated community where the most dangerous thing is kudzu. Or perhaps they grew up in too protected environments and so are naive to the reality that while most people are good and honest there are still plenty of bad actors and a weekend sublet (or however long it was) in a college dorm is a great opportunity for certain bad guys to do their worst.

up
Voting closed 0

You're not far wrong about the sheltered nature of the little darlings' upbringing. Those championing this idiot child don't seem to realize what a light slap on the wrist this is, compared with what he might have received. Bratty children seldom appreciate it when they're preventing from causing harm to themselves and others.

As for the "affordability of the downtown Boston experience" argument, not that I don't believe this was completely motivated by altruism, but has this child never heard of hostels? Probably not, because his parents would never allow snowflake to do something so downmarket, but even that weak argument doesn't have a leg to stand on.

up
Voting closed 0

The support effort, that is-- are they trying to be funny and just failing badly? This whole thing is just so fundamentally brain damaged that if I had to play the odds, I'd say the support effort-- by all of three bros-- looks more like a lame attempt at a joke than something sincere that even someone at a safety school would take seriously.

up
Voting closed 0

Feels like we're being trolled. Either that, or these kids really are that selfish and stupid. God help us if the latter is true.

The problem is that they're not failing badly.. This story has been picked up by the national media (and in some cases, international).

up
Voting closed 0

Does anyone know the legal arrangement when it applies to dorm rooms? I know it's not a rental, so rental laws do not apply? Is it essentially private property that a private 'contract' is made with the student or is it something else?

The reason why I ask is that.. to me... in little of what I know about dorms.. is that the school doesn't 'rent' to you. They give you a place to live that's included in your tuition. So it's not a rental, so rental laws do not apply.

The reason why I bring this up is that.. since it's not a normal rental, the guy virtually has no rights, and virtually no reason to even think he could get away with renting his dorm on AirBnB.

Its a very grey area.

Regardless, I think AirBnB in theory is a good idea. However, time and time again, it's being used for purposes that exceed it's original idea, which is casually renting to people on occasion.

These days, a few bad apples are pushing it to extremes and using it to skirt rooming house, and hotel regulations. Some people are renting apartments where they are not primary occupants, dividing them up into smaller rooms, and renting those rooms out. (which should be illegal to do so IMHO), such as many cases in NYC.

Nice idea, but its people like this kid in his dorm, or those folks who are looking to bank on rentals, is why AirBnB will eventually be banned or require people to adhere to rooming house regulations in order to rent on there.

It's always a few bad apples who ruin it for everyone.

up
Voting closed 0

Renting a dorm room is not included into the tuition.. It's added on. If you choose to live off-campus, you pay less. Also, in order to blur the lines, most schools (Emerson College included) typically combine their dorm fees & food fees into one category. At the end of the day, even in this current market, it is cheaper for a student to rent a 3-bedroom apartment with a couple of friends and buy food at the grocery than to stay in the dorms. Hell, most of the schools in Boston don't even have enough space for all their seniors and juniors, who are often not even given the option to live on-campus.

However, I'm confused when you say "since it's not a normal rental, the guy virtually has no rights, and virtually no reason to even think he could get away with renting his dorm on AirBnB."
Do you believe that you are allowed to rent your rented apartment through AirBnB in any other circumstance. Because if you don't OWN the property, than you most certainly cannot rent it out. Most leases are very specific about this, although they don't use the word "AirBnB" (they really should start, I guess). There's a process involving the landlord if you'd like to sub-lease your apartment, and many landlords will not allow sub-leasing. Therefore, turning your rented apartment into a nightly hotel is clearly off the table.

up
Voting closed 0

Renting a dorm room is not included into the tuition.. It's added on.

Do you believe that you are allowed to rent your rented apartment through AirBnB in any other circumstance.

That's my point.. if my rental agreement doesn't have a sublet clause, I can rent on AirBnB. Since there's no rental agreement (in the normal sense), with a dorm, the laws are different and it's not a rental.

Sorry it's hard for me to verbalize what I was getting at. Do I think because I rent I have a right to AirBnB. Yes. As long as my lease does not have a sublet cause, I can do so. If it does, I cannot use AirBnB. Its all about the leasing agreement in what I can, and cannot do with my unit. That is key. That's why its important for landlords not to use a standard lease and/or add items to the lease they wish tenants to adhere to. (i.e. subletting, number of occupants, guests, parking, etc).

Do I think this kid was in the right? Absolutely not. It's a dorm, not an apartment rental.

up
Voting closed 0

I'm pretty sure there was some sort of paperwork involved in my housing situation at college; maybe not a lease, but definitely a signed agreement.

up
Voting closed 0

It's not a lease. That's the difference...

You can have a housing agreement that isn't a lease...

up
Voting closed 0

There are plenty of properties in Boston that are being purchased as investments and run as AirBNB hotels. This is defintiely true in Somerville, anyway. The units have no permanent occupant and are constantly listed on the site.

I have no issue with people renting a spare bedroom THAT THEY OWN or renting their home to people while they're out of town. But that's not how AirBNB is always used.

It's those who push platforms like AirBNB to its extremes who reveal what a hoax the "sharing economy" is. It's a get rich quick scheme for the middleman.

up
Voting closed 0

I have no issue with people renting a spare bedroom THAT THEY OWN or renting their home to people while they're out of town. But that's not how AirBNB is always used.

I agree. This is how I feel. Sure, spare bedroom. You wanna rent for a week.. one week out of the year. Sure. Go for it.

But to essentially have places that act as a quasi hotel, where you aren't the primary occupant, and its sole lot in life is to serve that purpose. No. I think you should become a rooming house and have those laws apply to you, because you're essentially a rooming house now.

up
Voting closed 0

Are there any laws against that? It sounds like something that would be regulated.

up
Voting closed 0

I assume that every school has its own agreements w/students regarding housing. I never lived in a dorm, so I'm just guessing. In this case, however, the article says that all Emerson students sign an agreement not to sublet their rooms. Seems pretty cut and dried that the student is in the wrong.

up
Voting closed 0

and considering the room is only available part of the year that comes down to about $300 a night for this kid top break even. He should have gone to a state school.

up
Voting closed 0