Don’t Rent Out Your Roommate’s Bed on AirBnB


September is here, which means that thousands of college freshmen across the country will be moving into their homes for the next four years. It’s an exciting time: you’ll likely make new friends, live on a lovely little campus, and of course, have roommates for the first time. For some, this may be a bit uncomfortable, but for a select few, it might seem like a very lucrative financial opportunity. It sure did to me. My eyes widened the first time I heard about it: another bed, in MY room? What luck do I have! Although I knew that bed came with a companion, I was lured in by the temptation, yes, and now I’m here to tell you why you should not jump on that opportunity and attempt to rent out your roommate’s bed on AirBnb.

Upon arriving in your new dorm, you will be living in any one of the following types of rooms: a double (the typical “dorm”), a quad of four people, or a suite of eight. Either way, you will most likely have a roommate in your specific bedroom.

After a few months of living with said roommate, who for our purposes we will call Gary, you may notice that he may stop returning to your room on select nights. It is possible that Gary has taken on a new lover. Or, that Gary simply values innocent group sleepovers with friends. Perhaps Gary visits a nearby aunt on a regular basis. Whatever the case may be, here you have a perfectly good room with two perfectly good beds, and one of them is frequently empty…

At this point, an idea might pop into your head, well, I should put up Gary’s sleeping accommodations at a mid-range price on a popular travel database. Here you should stop immediately, even if the situation is basically begging you to do it. You have no idea what will come next.

But alas, if you’re like me, you may ignorantly decide to continue, in which case you will begin to host visitors to your quaint college town in your room’s empty twin bed for the reasonable price of $150/night (including breakfast, of course, because you’re not a monster) through AirBnb.

At this point, it is actually probable that your accommodation opportunity becomes a leader among AirBnb’s in your area. No one else offers a better location to visit your University than inside your University. Your price increases to $350/night (not including breakfast, because you’re not an idiot), and your guests range from single foreign travelers to elderly couples to families of 5. On many nights, your guests are forced to sleep in the same bed as Gary, who has become a forgotten inconvenience. You build a top bunk to accommodate the influx. This could work…

But while everything seems to be going smoothly, it is actually snowballing into the biggest disaster of your life. Unbeknownst to you, your guests have also begun to engage in college-age activities. Five-year-old Johnny has joined a fraternity and the elderly couple is cramming for their microeconomics final, which you also have tomorrow and forgot about.

After all of this goes down, at the end of the first week, University Housing will come along for a simple fire-safety inspection and instead find an entire Varsity Ice Hockey team sleeping in a twin bed with poor Gary in the middle. And this is when you realize that you’re sunk.

You’ll try to pay them off with your newfound riches, but either way, they will remove your room’s listing from AirBnb and expel you from school. Everything will collapse around you. The only thing you’ll have left is a staff writer position on the school’s college humor magazine (officially unaffiliated with the University, of course), and your life is in shambles.

So please, don’t do what I did. Don’t become a lowly college humor writer, and definitely don’t rent out your roommate’s bed on AirBnb.

-JS ’19

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