When a dorm room becomes a business opportunity

Most housing authorities staunchly against it

Some cash-strapped students are turning to the housing rental website Airbnb to make a quick buck—a transaction that may not be sanctioned by their university, Sarah Kessler reports for Fast Company.

When a roommate moves out of a dorm, there's an extra bed—and some see it as a business opportunity. A student in New York City rented out the extra bed in his dorm room for $80 a night, in a city where hotel rooms often go for more than $200. "I figured that renting out dorm space would just be a thing to do," he tells Fast Company. He signs his guests into the hall, they sleep in the extra bed, and everybody walks away happy.

Well, not everybody.

Research and insights
Residence life and housing

While some students say renting out dorm rooms isn't unusual, campus housing authorities disagree. "If you're not signing paperwork to make the sublet legal, you're an illegal tenant," said one worker at a New York City university housing department. Another university in Berkeley, California, took disciplinary action against a student who listed a dorm for rent on the website.

But other schools have joined the money-making venture. Some residence halls in the City University of New York system use Airbnb to advertise housing options for students that attend any local college (Kessler, Fast Company, 12/16).

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