Inkeepers rights to evict a guest Essays and Papers

This essay has a total of 2261 words and 11 pages.

Inkeepers rights to evict a guest

1. Intro
a. Defini tion
b. Innkeepers rights
2. Reasons to Evict
a. Nonpayment of a bill
b. Overstaying
c. Disorderly conduct
d. Serious or contagious illness
e. Objectio nable character or improper conduct
f. Business competitors seeking to solicit customers
g. Non-guests
3. How to Evict
a. Legal forms
b. Innkeeper’ s lien
c. Excessive force
d. Liability for wrongful eviction
4. Tenant vs. Guest
a. Guidelines of differences
b. Acti ons to be taken under circumstances
5. Co nclusion
Under certain circumstances an innkeeper has the right to withdraw hotel privileges and
evict a guest. Evict means to remove someone from property. A hotel can evict a guest
for nonpayment of a bill, overstaying, disorderly conduct, serious or contagious illness,
or objectionable character. In addition to those conditions a hotel may also evict
business competitors seeking to solicit customers under certain circumstances along with
non-guests (Cournoyer, p. 356). The hotelkeeper must first make certain the person
occupying the room is a guest and not a tenant. If the person is a tenant, than the above
reasons for evicting them must be accompanied with a court proceeding.

The right to evict stems from the duty of the innkeeper to receive and provide adequate
accommodations, without discrimination, to all who come in a fit condition to be received,
who are willing and able to pay as long as the hotel has a room. If, after the guests’
admission, circumstances occur which would have justified the innkeeper in refusing to
admit that person, the innkeeper has justification for evicting that guest (Kalt, p. 53).
Once admitted, a guest is in a better position to demand the services of the innkeeper
than when that person first applied for admission, but that alone does not secure the
guest from being evicted (Sherry, p. 109).

Failure to pay a hotel bill is grounds for eviction. Ordinarily, the hotel makes a demand
upon the guest for the amount of the bill and requests the guest to leave by a certain
hour if the bill is not paid. The hotel has the right to evict immediately as long as the
person is a guest, and not a tenant.

From the earliest times, the rule was that an innkeeper had the right to request payment
before furnishing accommodations. By the nineteenth century, it had become customary not
to require payment in advance, though the right to do so still remains (Sherry, p.114). A
classic case on ejection for refusal to pay is Morningstar v Lafayettte Hotel Co. In this
case the guest refused to pay his bill for both room service, and dining in the café.
Then when he retuned for breakfast he was refused service. It was proven that the hotel
is not required to entertain a guest who has refused to pay a lawful charge.

If a guest overstays the agreed time limit that person may be required to leave. If the
guest refuses, he may be evicted in a reasonable manner, not inflicting injury or undue
humiliation upon the guest. A good practice that most hotelkeepers do is to print or
stamp the date of departure on the registration card and on a copy given to the guest. If
the hotel has made other commitments for this room, the innkeeper should just remove the
guest’s luggage from his room during his absence and to double-lock the door so the guest
can’t get back in to their room (Sherry, p. 115).

Three states – Hawaii, Louisiana, and North Carolina – have passed statues that codify the
common law position and make a holdover guest a trespasser. For example, Hawaii’s statute

“Any guest who continues to occupy an assigned bedroom beyond the scheduled departure
without the prior written approval of the keeper shall be deemed a trespasser.”

In the forty-seven states that don’t have statutes specifically covering the rights of
innkeepers with regard to overstays, to reduce the possibility of any lawsuits, innkeepers
should proceed with caution when evicting a guest (Cournyer, p. 357).

Another right of an innkeeper is to eject guests, and non-guest who engage in disorderly,
undesirable, or unacceptable conduct at the inn. Most states have statutes similar to the

Eviction of disorderly persons: Every owner or keeper of any hotel, inn, motel, boarding
house or lodging house in this state shall have the right to evict from such premises
anyone who acts in a disorderly manner, or who destroys the property of any such owner or
keeper, or causes a public disturbance in or upon such premises.

In absence of this statute, common-law right to so evict remains. In exercising one’s
rights under these laws, common or statutory, discretion and care would always be in order
(Goodwin, p. 402).

In the case of Le Mistral v. Columbia Broadcasting System, the television crew sent a
camera crew to a restaurant that had been cited for health code violations. In an effort
to catch unsanitary practices on camera, they went in with the “cameras rolling”. With
the lights blaring, disturbing other diners, the restaurant ordered the crew to leave and
sued for damages on the grounds of trespassing (Cournyer, p.360).

According to common-law, hotel operators have the right to evict a guest who contracts a
contagious disease that is easily spread. The innkeeper is obligated to use extreme care
to avoid aggravating the guest’s condition by using the assistance of a public health
official, a doctor, or an ambulance. The innkeeper can exclude the guest with an easily
spread disease because accommodating them would expose many others to the illness,
violating the innkeeper’s duty of reasonable care for guests’ well being (Cournyer, p.

The improper conduct or objectionable character should not be tolerated in hotels. In
Raider v. Dixie Inn the court, upholding the right to eject a common prostitute enumerated
the types of undesirable conduct which have been held to justify exclusion from an inn:

“It appears, therefore, fully settled that an innkeeper may lawfully refuse to entertain
objectionable characters, if to do so is calculated to injure his business or to place
himself, business, or guests in a hazardous, uncomfortable, or dangerous situation…”

It should be noted that the cases on ejection and refusal to receive for undesirable
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