Rights of Innkeepers
What About Non-Guests?
  • General Rule
    • There is an implied invitation or license to all, including non-guests, to enter the facility
  • We can revoke this license at any time for non-guests
    • that is, ask the person to leave the premises
  • A person who refuses to leave becomes a trespasser
  • Innkeeper may use reasonable force to evict a trespasser
Can We Refuse a Guest Lodging?
  • General Rule
    • Hotel cannot refuse accommodations to anyone seeking them
  • When can an innkeeper refuse accommodations?
    1. If the hotel has legitimate no vacancies
    2. Can refuse persons who are criminals, intoxicated, disorderly, unclean, or suffering from a contagious disease
    3. Can refuse known persons of bad reputation
    4. Not able or willing to pay a reasonable price for a room in advance
    5. Guests with firearms, explosives, or pets
  • Hotels cannot refuse minors unless one of the above exceptions apply (note: restaurants generally can)
Selecting and Changing Accommodations
  • Assignment of rooms is at the prerogative of the innkeeper
  • Once a room had been assigned the innkeeper may change the room assignment
  • The innkeeper does not need guest’s permission to change room and transfer belongings
  • Innkeeper may only enter a guest’s room under the following 5 instances
    1. When imminent danger exists
    2. To transfer guest to another room
    3. Normal maintenance and repair
    4. Nonpayment
    5. When requested by the guest
Evicting a Guest
  • We can evict guests for the following 9 reasons:
    1. Failure to pay the bill
    2. Occupying a room beyond the agreed upon time
    3. Persons of ill repute
    4. Intoxication and disorderly conduct
    5. Disorderly conduct
    6. Contagiously ill guests but must use extreme care to avoid aggravating the condition
    7. Breaking house rules; rules should be posted in a conspicuous place
    8. Person who is not registered
    9. A business competitor who comes to the hotel solicit customers
  • Eviction should be carried out considerately
  • Excessive force may not be used  (assault vs. battery)
    • assault  ==> 
      • 1.  the tort of intentionally putting someone in fear of harmful physical contact
      • 2.  the crime of intentionally causing physical harm to another
    • battery  ==>
      • the tort of causing harmful physical contact to a person
    • Remember:  a tort is a violation of a legal duty by one person that injures another
Can a Restaurant Refuse a Diner?
  • A restaurant not associated with a hotel can refuse service to anyone provided it does not violate federal or state civil rights laws
  • A customer with a reservation has a legal right to be served
  • A customer with a reservation must arrive in a timely manner, if not, the restaurant may choose to not honor the reservation
What can an Innkeeper do if a guest doesn’t pay?
  • State fraud statutes allow the innkeeper to pursue criminally those patrons who refuse to pay
  • Can apply the Innkeeper’s Lien
    1. Applies to most of the guest’s property (excluded is necessary wearing apparel and certain personal jewelry)
    2. If guest attempts to take property can be charges with theft
    3. Lien terminates when the bill is paid
    4. If payment is not made, the hotel can sell the property and use the proceeds to pay the bill including fees associated with the lien
    5. Any surplus must be paid to the guest
Defrauding the Innkeeper or Restaurateur
  • Theft of services, larceny, fraudulent payment
  • False arrest


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this page is maintained by Reed Fisher
last updated January 15, 2011