If you’re a college student in a big city school looking to make some extra cash off your dorm room’s prime real estate, you might want to think twice. You could get in serious trouble for violating your school’s housing policy.
Students across the country—from New York to Philadelphia to Berkeley, Calif.—have tried renting out their rooms on Airbnb to make a little cash.
Jack Worth, a sophomore at Emerson College, is one of them. He listed his dorm room in Boston for rental on Airbnb in January.
But Worth’s entrepreneurial savvy quickly became a problem when Emerson College officials caught wind of his listing and told him to take it down. Worth didn’t say how much he charged for the room, but did reveal that the listing was live for two weeks and he welcomed three guests during that time period. He said he was looking to make some extra cash to offset the high costs of living and attending school in Boston.
Emerson College officials might pursue disciplinary action against Worth, saying that his actions violated school housing policy. The 19-year-old visual and media arts major said he “had not read anything explicitly stating that” renting his dorm room would violate the college’s codes.
Under pressure from his school, Worth deleted the listing it on Jan. 29. As a consequence of removing the listing, Worth was fined $150 by Airbnb. A “Free Jack Worth” Change.org petition in support of the persecuted college student has garnered 278 signatures as of Tuesday.