Inaugural Subletting: Don’t Believe the Hype

So if you’ve just come out from under a rock, this new guy got elected President of the United States.  A lot of people like him and want to come see him become the President.  Like millions of people.  So they are all going to come to our fair city and delay our Metro rides and hope to catch a glimpse of the magic that happens when the Barack Obama takes the Oath.

So many people are coming in fact that there is nowhere left for them to say stay-which is why people are renting out their rooms at incredibly extravagant prices.  No seriously-look here on craigslist.

So here I am:  Feet from a Metro stop, with a nice one bedroom in a huge three bedroom apartment, a Federal Employee with a four day weekend in January on one hand.  On the other hand I have the Super Bowl of tourist weekends with no reasonable way to do anything or go anywhere for four days while Barack-a-maniacs clog the tubes and roads.

Sounds like a perfect time to do some “What the Inauguration is like from another, warmer, city” blogging for the old DC Metblogs doesn’t it?  Don’t get me wrong-I know how cool this is, that it is a once in a lifetime event and all of that-I really do.  I just can tell you already I’ll be watching the show from my couch.  And if I’m watching it from my couch, I can watch it from any couch anywhere.

And why not advertise my room for the weekend as well and see if I can make a few grand in the process?

So I throw my room up there, pick a price in the middle (1500 a day or B/O), talk up the perks and wait for the money to start rolling in.  Visions of paying off a big chunk of my student loans or putting a great down payment on a place of my own dance in my head.  For one hour.  Then two.  Three hours go by, no responses.  Gotta keep the faith though-right?  Someone will turn up.

Then, hour four, I finally get what I think is a response from someone looking for a place to stay.  Instead, the person is part of the management from my building politely reminding me that we are not allowed to sublet during inauguration (or ever really).

Keep in mind that CL is anonymous posting-so they didn’t know it was me.  Clearly they are aware of the gold rush that is Inauguration and are scouring the CL postings to respond to any place that looks like it might be one of their properties.  I didn’t respond so they still don’t know it was me.

So with my building on high alert already I can only imagine what Inauguration weekend will be like.  My guess is that the adventure in subletting is over before it started.

Now to be clear-if anyone who is in charge of the leasing and management of my building (which will remain anonymous) is reading this right now-I knew that I wasn’t allowed to sublet my place.  I really knew that and had no actual intention of renting it.  Honest.  I was just curious and have very much learned my lesson…although since I wasn’t actually going to rent it out (cough cough) I guess I didn’t need to learn a lesson.  But I learned one anyway…Honest.

For you, gentle reader who is of a like-mind to me, the lesson might be twofold.  First, make sure you are allowed to sublet your place before you do.  As with my building you can get into some trouble if you do-maybe even get kicked out.  Secondly, while the prices look impressive on CL, doesn’t mean people are paying that much.  The returns aren’t necessarily there.  My guess (as informed by my educated roommate) is that come December (when tickets start to issue) the rush will pick up-but that you probably aren’t going to get some extremely crazy awesome price (unless you have some extremely crazy awesome place, that is).

Also realize-even if you do get the price you want and your building is okay with subletting that you are letting a stranger into your house.  Make sure to take some precautions regarding your personal safety and valuables if you do go this route.

Other than that, however or wherever you plan on being for Inauguration weekend, I hope you enjoy it.  I know I will-wherever I will be.  :)

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