Your Rights at a Hotel or Motel in Tennessee - HELP4TN Blog

If you stay at or live in a hotel or motel, you should know its rights and responsibilities as well as your own rights and responsibilities.

 

Minimum Standards for Hotels and Motels in Tennessee

 

The Tennessee Department of Health, and Department of Environment and Conservation, require minimum standards for all hotels and motels in Tennessee. Those standards cover utilities, maintenance, safety, and basic health, and are available in full online here.

 

Make Sure that You Know Your Rights

 

As a guest at a hotel or motel, you should ask for a copy of all contracts or agreements that you signed for your stay. These papers may set forth the hotel's or motel's requirements during your stay as well as your rights and responsibilities as a guest in the hotel or motel.

 

Hotels and Motels Cannot Discriminate against You

 

Under federal and state laws, hotels and motels are not allowed to discriminate against you (including, refusing or denying services, or kicking you out) because of your race, creed, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, marital status or age.

 

Refusal to Provide Services to You

 

Hotels and motels have the right to refuse or deny services to you for the following reasons:

  1. You refuse to pay or are unable to pay for the services offered by the hotel or motel
  2. You are visibly intoxicated or disturbing the public
  3. The hotel or motel reasonably believes that you are seeking services for an illegal reason
  4. The hotel or motel reasonably believes that you are bringing dangerous items or substances onto the property
  5. The hotel or motel is trying to limit the number of people staying at it

These rules must be visibly and clearly posted at the registration desk and in every room.

 

Removing You from Your Room and the Property

 

Hotels and motels have the right to remove you from your room and the property, even if you are living there, for the following reasons:

  1. You refuse to pay and do not pay for the accommodations or services provided to you
  2. You are visibly intoxicated or disturbing the public
  3. The hotel or motel reasonably believes that you are involved in illegal activities during your stay
  4. The hotel or motel reasonably believes that you are bringing dangerous items (such as guns or explosives) onto the property
  5. You have violated a federal, state or local law involving the hotel or motel
  6. You have violated a rule of the hotel or motel

Under state law, you have a right to be notified of these six rules.  In addition, you have a right to be notified of the rules of the hotel or motel.  All of the rules must be visibly and clearly posted at the registration desk and in every room.

 

Can a Hotel or Motel Sue You?

Hotels and motels may sue you for any accommodations or services that you received from it without paying for them. In addition, hotels and motels may sue you for any damages that you cause. Those damages may include property damages, lost revenue if it is unable to use the room while it is being repaired, and restitution to any person who is injured due to the damages caused by you.

 

What if Your Property or Luggage is Lost, Stolen or Destroyed?

 

Hotels and motels may allow you to keep your valuable items (such as money or jewelry) in a safe during your stay. The hotel or motel may be liable for losses, up to $300, if your valuable items are lost, stolen or destroyed. Similarly, the hotel or motel may be liable for your lost or stolen luggage, up to $150, if it provides a place to keep your luggage during your stay.

 

Can a Hotel or Motel Take, Sell or Destroy Your Property?

 

Hotels and motels may place a lien on any property that your brought to your room (such as goods, clothes, baggage or furniture) if you owe any money to the hotel or motel, allowing the hotel to keep your property until you pay. Such liens may be placed on your belongings if you have stayed for one or more nights. In addition, if you owe money to the hotel or motel, it can auction off any and all of the luggage or property that you left there to pay off your debt. The hotel or motel must advertise such auctions at least ten days beforehand.

 

This blog is not legal advice, but it is legal information to help you learn about your rights. Need more help? HELP4TN free legal helpline has attorneys ready to answer your questions. Give us a call at 844-435-7486.

Posted: May 27, 2021