TTU vs UT leads to couch surfing in Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/14/10

TTU vs UT leads to couch surfing in Lubbock

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By Michael Slother | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The hotel clerk at Best Western Lubbock Windsor Inn picked up the ringing phone, and had to turn away another potential customer because they have no available rooms for the weekend. That's the case with every hotel in Lubbock, and most of the surrounding cities as Texas Tech hosts Texas in the biggest home game of the season.

Liz Hernandez and her family aren't hotel managers, but they do have a couple extra rooms to rent out for the weekend on Craigslist. "We shampooed carpets, we painted the walls, we'll be putting in the beds, and of course all the sheets and linens will be clean. That's basically what a motel does and that's what we'll be doing," Hernandez said.

We looked on the Craigslist, and there were several other ads advertising rooms for rent. Hernandez says she's nervous about renting it out to a complete stranger but trusts that he'll be responsible."I've never done this before, but I think with people coming in from out of town and spending a lot they're probably going to take care of it for a weekend."

Roger Hayes has never done this either and at first he was skeptical. "I'm giving her $175 dollars. She wanted half [upfront], and for a person I've never met and you see the disclaimers they have on Craigslist, you just think this would be a good time for people to capitalize on other people's misfortunes," Hayes said.

After a few conversations Hernandez and Hayes decided they trusted each other enough to make a deal. Lubbock police want to make sure that people know what they're getting into when making such agreements. "The main thing we need to tell them is if the person owns the property and they're renting it out, they need to do some reference checks. You don't just want a stranger coming into your house,  you want to limit what they can and can't do. Basically have some rules that they need to go by," said Bill Casey, Lubbock Police Department's Sergeant of Neighborhood Services.

Hayes said he just needed a place to sleep that doesn't cost a fortune and isn't located 45 minutes away. and Hernandez says her place not only matches that description, but may be a cleaner option. "It's probably cleaner because not a whole lot of people come through my beds; it's just me and my kids. At a motel you have all sorts of people sleeping in their beds and using your shower."

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