How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

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James_0011
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How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by James_0011 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:12 pm

So like the title says, I want to rent my spare room out on Airbnb. However the apartment complex forbids it, and I’m sure the landlord would to.

Originally, I was just going to find a roomate on Craigslist, but I realized I could make more money with Airbnb.

How would they even catch me? The apartment has an entrance not connected to the others in the building so no one would have to walk past my guests coming in.

I wouldn’t post any pictures of the outside online - only the room in question. Also, exact addresses on Airbnb are only shown to guests who make a reservation.

Is this a bad idea? I don’t care about getting kicked out, I just don’t want to get taken to court over this. Thanks

The Old Man
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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by The Old Man » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:49 am

Court is not likely. If you violate the terms of your lease then the apartment manager can evict you. How would the manager find out? When the other apartment tenants complain, that's when. If you decide to proceed, then keep it on the down low. Instruct your airbnb guests to also keep it on the down low. Be a model tenant and demand/expect your guest to be a model guest (i.e. no parties, etc.). I would take steps to reduce the traffic - no daily rentals, only weekly or longer (preferably monthly). In short, it will only be a problem if the neighbors complain.

In some locations, AirBnB and equivalent are banned: Santa Monica, New York City, and Berlin are some cities. In such cities you can receive huge fines. In such cases it would be the owners that would be paying. Owners are supposed to be responsible for their units. In these cities I would bet that 100% of the time the owners would evict you due to the threat of these high fines. Additionally, if the owner was fined, then the owner may decide to sue you to recover the fine that was paid. You have been warned.

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Eureka
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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by Eureka » Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:04 am

I think you will have very little problems if you stop immediately should you get any complaints or warnings. Then just refuse everything.

The challenge is greed and that you don't stop in time.

And that if you end up getting kicked out, you might loose your deposit and prepaid rent and thus earn less than if you had just rented out to someone from CL.

Also remember that there is more work involved in retning out on Airbnb.

Good luck!

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Ego
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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by Ego » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:05 pm

I agree with Eureka. One of the key skills of a successful property managers is to not notice petty violations of the lease that are not causing problems. A nice tenant who pays rent on time and who does not cause problems is a valuable asset. So, don't cause problems and you'll probably be left alone. If the manager tells you to stop listing on Airbnb, then apologize, tell them you didn't realize it wasn't allowed and stop. In theory I guess you could get a control-freak manager who would kick you out for the point of it, but that would be out of the ordinary.

Campitor
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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by Campitor » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:23 pm

I manage family property. If I found out a tenant was renting out a room as an air bnb - I would evict them as fast as possible for several reasons.
  1. Renting out a room as an airbnb puts more wear and tear on the apartment and I would raise their rent accordingly - I'm renting to them and not their airbnb clients.
  2. I'd be suspicious of someone who is trying to enrich themselves at my expense - what other activities will they engage in that will increase my maintenance burden while they enrich themselves?
  3. If the apartment complex bans airbnb and subletting, what other rules will they break in the hopes of benefiting themselves?
  4. I wouldn't give a single hoot if they paid rent on time - timely rental payments aren't the only consideration as a landlord. What if his airbnb activity results in the loss of other renters, potential renters, or results in disturbances to my other lease-abiding tentants?
Any landlord who turns a blind eye to this behavior is only inviting trouble.

James_0011
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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by James_0011 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:25 pm

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I actually just found someone in the same complex who is renting out his apartment on Airbnb. So, I guess he hasn’t been caught yet.

Really all I would have to worry about is the landlord, and she lives in a different area/ has never even met me in person. So I think it will be okay.

James_0011
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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by James_0011 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:54 pm

@campitor

Thank you for your input. How would it put wear and tear on the apartment? All the furniture is mine.

Campitor
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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by Campitor » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:14 am

@ James_0011

Since you can't be trusted to abide by any rules, I imagine at some point you're going to break the occupancy codes or try to maximize your profits by hosting excessive amounts of people. This means more wear/use on all objects that are not owned or provided by you such as carpeting/flooring, water usage, light switches, door entries, and any any other mechanical devices provided by your landlord (i,e, washers/dryers, stoves, dishwashers, etc.).

Landlords incorporate the cost of repair and maintenance into their rental price based on normal wear and tear so they can be sure they are charging enough to keep up with the cost of repairs, the cost of future capital expenditures related to normal housing upkeep, and generate a profit. By turning your apartment into a hotel suite, you are now increasing the use of all devices and objects not owned by you which means they will need to be replaced/serviced/repaired more frequently. And you're also opening up your landlord, and you, to potential unforeseen liabilities if your "guests" are injured while in your apartment or cause injury to someone else.

And since you're already breaking the rules of your apartment complex by your own admission, I thought I should point out that you're also breaking the airbnb's code of conduct which I've pasted below. I hope at least that you plan to declare your airbnb income on your taxes.


Permissions
Whom should I notify that I'm hosting on Airbnb?

Contracts:

Check your HOA or Co-Op Board regulations to make sure there is no prohibition against subletting--or any other restriction against hosting. Read your lease agreement and check with your landlord if applicable. You may consider adding a rider to your contract that addresses the concerns of these parties and outlines the responsibilities and liabilities of all parties.

James_0011
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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by James_0011 » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:09 pm

Thanks for the info. Yes, I plan to declare the Airbnb income on my taxes - I could get into serious trouble for that.

pukingRainbows
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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by pukingRainbows » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:54 pm

How about ethical trouble?
Does the ethics of this bother you at all?
In my opinion, you are taking advantage of and lying to your landlord. I'm not sure how you feel about it.
I apologize for moralizing here but I think I've seen a few threads like this and I don't think this aspect has ever been mentioned. The focus has always just been how to optimize your financial situation and balance the risk and rewards.

Campitor
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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by Campitor » Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:43 pm

pukingRainbows wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:54 pm
How about ethical trouble?
Does the ethics of this bother you at all?
From Joshua Kennon's blog: https://www.joshuakennon.com/dont-allow ... your-life/

Over on a frugal board I read, there is a discussion going on about a person whom posted pictures of WF Sirloin Tip Oven Roast – 1.048 to 1.212 kg – for between 8¢ and 10¢. The person then labeled this post “Clerical error in your favor, collect $200“....

....If you think this kind of behavior is okay, you’ve already lost. You work for money. You’re a slave to it. You’ve sold yourself, and your integrity for it. It’s not shrewd. It’s not clever. You’re a thief.

If I knew a friend did this, I’d slowly isolate them out of my life. If I knew a coworker or employee did this, I’d get rid of them. If I were doing business with someone, perhaps a vendor or a customer, and I found out they did this, I’d watch them like a hawk and move swiftly to sever all activity. Why? Because I can’t trust them. They can be bought for a few dollars. You do not steal from people. If someone makes an honest mistake, like dropping a wad of money in front of you or accidentally giving you too much change back in a transaction, you return it. The same goes for mislabeling in a business...


Or subletting an apartment when it's explicitly against the rules.

James_0011
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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by James_0011 » Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:11 pm

How do you define ethical?

What is the difference between having a guest stay over and someone from Airbnb? Is it unethical because they pay me? Is that where the line is crossed?

What if a guest came over and gave me a gift? Would that be unethical?

What if the gift was in the form of money?

I’m sincerely confused here. Please elaborate.

I don’t think following rules that are nonsensical is equivalent to being ethical.

Campitor
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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by Campitor » Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:36 am

James_0011 wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:11 pm
I don’t think following rules that are nonsensical is equivalent to being ethical.
I agree - following nonsensical rules isn't what makes you ethical. What makes you ethical is that you agreed to the stipulations of the rental agreement by becoming a tenant with the intention of upholding those stipulations in good faith and abiding by those stipulations since you agreed to them as legally implied by your willing occupancy.

What makes YOU unethical is that you KNOW you are going to break the rules, and rather than trying to argue your case openly with your landlord to see if he will grant you an exception, you are HIDING your activity since in YOUR opinion you don't see why you should live up to the terms you agreed to when you became a tenant.

You cannot be trusted to keep your word or abide by the rules you willing accepted when you became a tenant. You're being sneaky and deceptive. In what other areas may you be sneaky and deceptive? Maybe you might try stealing your neighbor's electricity to maximize your airbnb profits or lessen your own financial liabilities. Maybe you might start charging strangers to gain access to your building's facilities too, i.e., paid car washes, access to the laundry room for 5 dollars, etc.

I repeat, if I was your landlord I would evict you as fast as possible or refuse to renew your lease. Every landlord has to deal with tenants like you who feel that mutually agreed contractual obligations are pieces of fiction to be eradicated at the first whiff of inconvenience. Your behavior is why rent is so high - us ethical landlords have to plan for the worse possible scenarios that we fall victim to by unethical tenants who force us into court to enforce behavior that was agreed to when the lease was signed.

slsdly
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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by slsdly » Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:38 am

I have to say I don't particularly like AirBnb. In Toronto, there are condo buildings full of them. For the few actual residents, they have a constant stream of strangers coming and going, they have little incentive to minimize noise at night, etc. Hotels don't have a sense of community. Legal? Sure. Ethical? Probably. But the outcome still sucks.

I'd just get a roommate. For any complaints I might have about those I've shared a home with, I like having someone around to talk to.

The other consideration is if this is a temporary cost or a "structural" cost. I mean in the sense, that if you were early retired, would you still be living where you do? Your savings rate is the most important number, it is true, but if your expenses go down in retirement, then that dwarfs the few extra ten thousand you could have saved. I tend not to care as much about things I won't continue to pay for, unless there is some benefit to not doing it (e.g. transit costs to work vs walking/biking/etc, more exercise means more to me than spending less).

James_0011
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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by James_0011 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:11 am

@slsdly,

I would like to find a roommate, but I’m having trouble finding one. I think I’m going to Airbnb the room while continuing to look for a roomate on Craigslist.

No, I would for sure not be living here if I was retired. So, yes my costs will go down dramatically in early retirement. However, I would like to save more to invest in real estate.

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Eureka
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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by Eureka » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:25 am

Campitor, thanks for your arguments. They made me rethink (and regret) my reply above.

Basically, I spontaneously reacted directly to the stated question about how much troubles James_0011 could expect if he rented out his spare room on airbnb and my reply was most likely none, (which I still think it is).

But you are totally right. That is not a relevant consideration. One of course has to consider the bigger picture and how one wants to interact with the rest of the world. If not, one could as well ask about the odds for being caught shoplifting or hacking bank accounts. And this is so far from things I want to consider.

So heartfelt thanks for taking your time to argue "from the other side". I always find it exciting when someone is able to open my eyes to new perspectives and thus give me new insights.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:01 am

Campitor wrote: Your behavior is why rent is so high - us ethical landlords have to plan for the worse possible scenarios that we fall victim to by unethical tenants who force us into court to enforce behavior that was agreed to when the lease was signed.
This is a concept that I didn't fully comprehend until I was in my 30s. When a contract is made, each party to the contract takes on not just the responsibility of fulfilling their end of contract, but also the responsibility to enforce fulfillment of other end of contract. For instance, J.Bozo and NoBreastFemaleWarriorInc. made contract with me to remit proceeds from liquidation of my rare book inventory within 60 days, but have not fulfilled their end of contract, and when I repeatedly made inquiry, I received e-mails that said:
This is a gentle reminder informing you that we are awaiting to hear back from our concerned team who are working on this issue...To ensure that you don't have to follow up, we would continue to provide timely update on the progress of the situation.
IOW, this contract dispute has been outsourced offshore into a deep suck hole of incompetence, technocracy and/or legal evasion, and there is fuck-all I can do about it, except to recognize that this is part of the price of doing business with them. However, the subtle threat implied in the use of the phrase "gentle reminder" is coloring me livid.

Part of the price of doing business as a landlord is dealing with tenant disputes. Happens all the time. I dated a man who once had a tenant accuse him of putting secret cameras in the bathroom of her apartment when he tried to evict her for not paying rent. Luckily, the judge who was supposed to hear the case went to high school with him, and threw it right out of court after delivering stern lecture to tenant.

IMO, there is a subtle but important difference between irresponsible and a-responsible behavior. Irresponsible is recognizing that you have a responsibility, but not fulfilling it for any variety of reasons. A-responsible is not even recognizing that you have a responsbility. Unfortunately, I think the reality is that we are moving towards a culture of a-responsibility.

ffj
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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by ffj » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:53 am

I read the article Campitor linked and thought about how few potential friends the author was making available to himself. Everybody cheats in some areas in their lives, and everybody is different in what grinds their gears in other's behaviors.

As an example, it pisses me off when people post gun ads on Craigslist.

Looking for Home Security System - $13466 (Lexington) hide this posting
Looking for good home security system number 9 have cash tonight

I like guns, and I wish Craigslist would allow the sale of them, but they don't. The devil's advocate in me gets irritated that any kind of sex act and its accompanying pornographic images are available, but a guy or gal can't sell an extra handgun or ammunition. But I didn't create Craigslist, and therefore don't get to dictate the rules, and the ability to list almost anything for FREE supersedes my irritation at their rules. And when people KNOWINGLY try to sidestep the rules, they are fucking it up for the rest of us who abide by them. So I flag their posts when I see them, and it's almost comical how they try to cover up the fact that they are trying to sell a gun or wanting to buy one knowing that Craigslist doesn't allow that behavior.

With that said, if I were the landlord and I knew a tenant was running a side business out of the building that I paid for and maintain in direct violation of the contract that the occupant signed and agreed to before moving in, then I would take action immediately. And if I were the tenant and rationalized away my obligations to the contract I signed, then I would be smart about my violations and minimize any attention to my activities. Good luck though with controlling stranger's behaviors that have even less incentive to uphold the rules than the tenant does. Will they have to sign a contract? ;)

Campitor
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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by Campitor » Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:32 pm

ffj wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:53 am
I read the article Campitor linked and thought about how few potential friends the author was making available to himself. Everybody cheats in some areas in their lives, and everybody is different in what grinds their gears in other's behaviors.
Agreed - context matters when it comes to cheating. Example - If I was walking with a friend and he found a $20 bill, looked around and didn't see anyone looking for it, and then pocketed the cash, I wouldn't think twice about it. However, if he saw the $20 bill drop from someone or noticed someone searching for the money, and he pocketed the cash, I would remove them from my circle of friends ASAP.

@ Eureka

No worries. I didn't think you were try to help James_0011 in his moral turpitude. You were just replying to his question in a very objective manner. So in that spirit I will provide the following potential consequences/trouble that James_0011 may encounter. Result vary by location/laws and the vindictiveness of the landlord involved.
  1. Eviction
  2. Fines and fees caused by the eviction process or lawsuits from negative consequences resulting from airbnb activity.
  3. Tax issues resulting for not paying occupancy taxes required per certain states/jurisdictions.
  4. Lost work time dealing with issues arising from airbnb activity or by the court appointments caused by lawsuits/lease enforcement.
  5. Significant loss of wages/capital resulting from lawsuits that don't go your way.
  6. Loss of future capital caused by current or potential future employer discovery of unethical behavior.
  7. Being blacklisted by future landlords who do background checks.

pukingRainbows
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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by pukingRainbows » Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:26 pm

James_0011 wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:11 pm
How do you define ethical?

What is the difference between having a guest stay over and someone from Airbnb? Is it unethical because they pay me? Is that where the line is crossed?

What if a guest came over and gave me a gift? Would that be unethical?

What if the gift was in the form of money?

I’m sincerely confused here. Please elaborate.

I don’t think following rules that are nonsensical is equivalent to being ethical.
I guess that's the question: how do you personally define 'ethical'

For me, it's acting within the rules laid out in an agreement made with another person. It's not violating the trust that is the basis for the agreement. It's doesn't involve deception.

I would say all the situations you described are different in that the person is not a guest but a customer for the business you are running. I think that is the line.

For the nonsensical rules, I think I agree with you. However, I think that in order for the rules to be disregarded they need to be considered nonsensical by both parties who are then both fully aware that they are being disregarded. That would make it more ethical in my view.

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Viktor K
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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by Viktor K » Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:04 am

If your landlord doesn't want you to, but doesn't know, that's on them, I say. You signed a little sheet of paper. Woop. You owe them so much now? Not in my opinion.

Ethics are largely cultural. That little piece of paper doesn't mean anything unless you want it to.

Jason
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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by Jason » Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:07 pm

I thought this thread was going to be about the dangers of leasing out a room to a kush smoking cannibal not the technicalities of breaking the terms of a lease.

Obviously, you know the potential fallout which could range from never being caught to unwittingly leasing out to a kush smoking cannibal who goes American Horror on your fucking neighbors. Then the shit gets real.

Obviously, you know its wrong, but you just want public consensus to tell you its Ok which is to be quite honest, is very weak sauce.

Would you like it if everyone in your building pulled this type of shit and just decided to live according to what they think they could get away with as opposed to the obligations of their leases? It would be a goddam circus. Would you like it if you were the landlord? Do you like it when people agree to do things but then decide to do otherwise because you are not in their presence?

To be quite honest, if I was Jacob, I'd kick you off this fucking board for even raising this type of bullshit. But then I'd get kicked off too because I'm also a major league douche.

Campitor
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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by Campitor » Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:20 pm

Viktor K wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:04 am
That little piece of paper doesn't mean anything unless you want it to.
A lease is a legal contract, and thus enforceable by all parties under the contract law of the applicable jurisdiction; its not a meaningless piece of paper. By signing the lease and moving in, he volunteered to give that piece of paper meaning.

P_K
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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by P_K » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:28 am

Jason wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:07 pm
Obviously, you know its wrong, but you just want public consensus to tell you its Ok which is to be quite honest, is very weak sauce.
If one ever finds themselves crowd-sourcing their super-ego they need to do two things:

1. Stop
2. Not do whatever action they were looking to validate. You can be damn sure that any action justified by having the support of >0 internet strangers is an action that needs reevaluated in a serious and reflective manner.

Considering James_0011's confusion on this being an ethical issue at all I am not sure if this was actually what he was doing. But, since it obviously is an ethical issue, I would still recommend a serious reflection on the activity in question. Asking the above posters for clarification was a good first step and hopefully their arguments resonated.

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Re: How much trouble can I get in renting a spare room out on Airbnb?

Post by Jason » Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:07 am

James 0011 first sentence is that he wants to engage in an activity that will certainly be disapproved by the landlord and the apartment complex. He is concerned with getting caught but has come up with ideas of how he will engage in duplicitous and deceptive conduct (no pictures, back exits).

James 0011 goes on to acknowledge that his actions might offend his landlord to the extent that eviction could ensue. An awareness by James 0011 that such a punitive measure is justified by the offended party in response to his considered actions implies an awareness that, I would argue, embeds an ethical awareness. Otherwise he is just a sociopath, someone who has learned not to do things because others consider them to be wrong. In the landlord/tenant relationship eviction is the equivalent of divorce in the marital relationship. You can actually just change this thread to "How Much Trouble Can I Get In For Ass Fucking My Sister In Law" and we will have essentially the same discussion.

James 0011 first paragraph frames this entire issue in terms of how he will deceive his landlord and is willing to live with a certain degree of punishment (eviction but not court). However, when the issue of ethics arises, he claims to be lost and claims the rules are non-sensical and comes up with a list of false equivalencies. Now if this was the Holocaust board and the poster was Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the thread title was "How Much Trouble Can I Get in Hiding Jews Under My Floorboards" there might be a different angle to the question but generally speaking when someone expresses concern about getting "caught" its not for doing the "right" let alone a "technically wrong but for the better good" thing.

And yes, different cultures have different views towards agreements. But here in America, its all about documents and signatures. Our country was founded upon and is based on documents with signatures.

James 0011 knows damn well what he is doing is wrong but needs an internet wheel man to snort a few lines on his coffee table to muster up the courage to pistol whip the old lady who walks her dog before she settles in to watch reruns of "The Golden Girls."

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