D.C. Students Consider Renting Out Rooms For Inauguration

This story was written by Charlie Szold, The Eagle
Students planning to sublet their apartments or dorms during the upcoming inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama could face expulsion or eviction from their residences.

Across the D.C. area, people are attempting to temporarily lease their apartments and houses to make a quick buck. Some people are charging as much as $50,000 for a four-day stay in D.C., according to The Washington Post.

At the nearby Berkshire Apartments, residents' leasing agreements do not allow them to sublet, according to Tony Towler, the building's property manager.

"It is not legal to sublet their apartment[s]," he said. "It is a very specific policy agreement that [residents] cannot sublet their apartments."

It is against American University's housing policy for students to sublet their dorms, according to Paul Lynch, an assistant director in AU Housing and Dining Programs.

"Students who live on campus are responsible to the Housing License Agreement that they signed up for and requested housing," he said. "A student cannot sublet their residence hall room. In addition, any residence hall student must claim any guest that they do have."

Leasing is one of the things specifically prohibited under AU's Housing License Agreement.

"The student is prohibited from assigning his/her rights or responsibilities under this agreement to a third party," the agreement said.

Students who break either the Berkshire's or AU's housing policies are subject to removal from their residences.

"They could face legal action," Towler said. "That legal action would have them kicked out of their apartments."

Students who violate the agreement's policies would face disciplinary action, including removal from housing, according to AU's housing agreement.

Dan Shor, a sophomore in the School of International Service, said he has the right to have a guest in his room for up to three days.

"It's none of AU's business whether I have them pay to stay or not," he said.

James Wigley, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, said he was unsure about the implications of AU's rule.

"I wouldn't do it," he said. "I would hate to have to find housing this late in the semester. Though, I do disagree with AU saying whether I can have guests stay with me."

One AU student who lives in the Berks but did not want to be identified thinks the risk of eviction may be worth taking.

"I'm not sure if I would do it no one wants to be kicked out," the student said. "But if you can make a few thousand dollars it might be worth the risk."

The student is still having trouble making his decision and has since listed his apartment for over $1000 per night Craig's List and then de-listed it.

Blaine Toups, a sophomore in the School of Public Affairs, said he wouldn't sublet his dorm room over safety concerns.

"I have my computer and my T.V in my room," he said. "I couldn't trust a stranger in there."
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