lecture%209.2%20guest%20property.%20HFT3600 - Lecture 9.2...

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Lecture 9.2 - Protecting Guests = Property Hotel Theft Burglaries of guests’ property Theft of credit card information Identity theft of confidential information Keys can be copied; thieves purchase of steal hotel keys to gain easy access. Avoid using room number on key. Electronic keycards allow codes to be reset when guest leaves or is supposed to leave. If guest has insurance, this insurer can subrogate against hotel for its payment on loss. Must still prove that hotel has liability for loss. Absolute liability (infra hospitium) rule that hotel was liable for any loss of guests’ property occurring on hotel premises has been modified. Exceptions for Acts of God, public enemy, guest’s own negligence (leaving luggage unattended in lobby). Prima facie rule - hotel liable only if loss occurred due to the hotel = s negligence (minority rule; 6 states, not Florida). But hotel must prove that loss resulted from some other cause; that hotel has absence of negligence. Modern Limited Liability: Hotel must provide a safe for use by guests to protect their property; Hotel must post notices announcing to guests the availability of safes; Hotel must post notices that hotel = s liability for guests = property is limited; Maximum recovery to guest for stolen or lost property is prescribed by statute; $1,000. Either central safe or individual room safes allowed. Safe must be available all times (not closed at night) to gain benefit of limitation . Safe must be appropriately theft and fire resistant. Strict compliance with notice requirements is required. Notice must clearly state hotel = s limitation of its liability. Days Inn lost $142,834. case when guest deposited jewelry in room safe, which was forcibly removed from wall and floor. Days Inn failed to give proper notice of limitation of liability, so did not gain benefit of limitation. Guest’s $10,000. cash was stolen from central hotel safe. Notice failed to inform guest of limitation even for valuables placed in central safe instead of room safe. The hotel was liable to guest for lost property despite state limitation law, due to lack of proper notice to guest. -1-
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Property required to be placed in safe normally includes money, jewels, ornaments, bank notes, negotiable securities, precious stones. Cufflinks, watch, normal wear items may or may not be considered jewelry or ornaments, so, if not, will not be required to be placed in safe. Thefts in hotel restaurant and after check-out are normally not hotel’s liability. Property not required to be placed in safe is generally liability of hotel, but not unlimited liability; limitation is set by statute. Florida’s limitation is $500. unless declared on inventory and accepted by hotel. Florida - hotel is not liable for guests’ clothes and personal property unless hotel
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lecture%209.2%20guest%20property.%20HFT3600 - Lecture 9.2...

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