Qp Date

Hotel Keepers Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 206

Contents
1Definitions
2Lien on property of guest and enforcement by sale
3Limitation of liability for property of guest
4Liability for refusal or failure to take charge of goods
5Notice of law to be conspicuously posted in rooms of inn
6Offence — causing a disturbance
7Peace officer powers
8Section 5 of the Offence Act

Definitions

1  In this Act:

"accommodation" does not include money supplied to a guest;

"inn" includes a hotel, motel, auto court, inn, tavern, public house or other place of refreshment, the keeper of which is by law responsible for the goods and property of the guests;

"innkeeper" means the keeper of an inn;

"vehicle" means a motor vehicle as defined in the Motor Vehicle Act.

Lien on property of guest and enforcement by sale

2  (1) Every innkeeper, boarding house keeper and lodging house keeper

(a) has a lien on the baggage and property of a guest, boarder or lodger for the value or price of food or accommodation furnished to the guest, boarder or lodger, and

(b) in addition to all other remedies provided by law, has the right, in case the value or price of food or accommodation furnished to the guest, boarder or lodger remains unpaid for 3 months, to sell the baggage and property of the guest, boarder or lodger by public auction on giving one week's notice by advertisement

(i)   in a newspaper published in the electoral district in which the inn, boarding house or lodging house is located, or,

(ii)   in case there is no newspaper published in the electoral district, in a newspaper published in British Columbia nearest to the inn, boarding house or lodging house

of the intended sale.

(2) The notice must state the

(a) name of the guest, boarder or lodger,

(b) amount of that person's indebtedness,

(c) description of the baggage or other property to be sold,

(d) time and place of sale, and

(e) name of the auctioneer.

(3) After the sale the innkeeper, boarding house keeper or lodging house keeper

(a) may apply the proceeds of the sale in payment of the amount due and the costs of the advertising and sale, and

(b) must pay over the surplus, if any, to the person entitled to it, if the person applies for it.

(4) This section does not apply to a tenant occupying a rental unit to which the Residential Tenancy Act applies.

Limitation of liability for property of guest

3  (1) No innkeeper is liable to make good to a guest loss of or injury to goods or property brought to the inn, except if the goods or property have been

(a) stolen, lost or injured through the wilful act, default or neglect of the innkeeper or the innkeeper's servant, or

(b) deposited expressly for safe custody with the innkeeper, except that in case of the deposit the innkeeper may require as a condition of liability that the goods or property be deposited in a box or other receptacle, fastened and sealed by the person depositing the goods or property.

(2) If the vehicle of a guest has been delivered to the custody of the innkeeper or the innkeeper's servant expressly for storage or parking in a place specifically reserved and designated by the innkeeper for the storing or parking of vehicles, the liability of the innkeeper is that of a bailee for reward.

Liability for refusal or failure to take charge of goods

4  If an innkeeper refuses to receive for safe custody, as mentioned, goods or property of a guest, or if a guest, through a default of the innkeeper, is unable to deposit the goods or property, the innkeeper is not entitled to the benefit of this Act for the loss of or injury to the goods or property unless the innkeeper proves that the inn was not equipped with a proper safe or vault or did not have a place for the storing or parking of vehicles and that the innkeeper informed the guest at the time of refusing or failing to receive the goods or property.

Notice of law to be conspicuously posted in rooms of inn

5  (1) Every innkeeper must keep conspicuously posted in the office and public rooms and in every bedroom in the inn a copy of section 3, printed in plain type.

(2) An innkeeper is entitled to the benefit of section 3 for the goods or property brought to the inn only while the copies are posted.

Offence — causing a disturbance

6  (1) In this section, "disturbance" means a disturbance of the peace of an occupant of an inn by fighting, screaming, shouting, singing, or otherwise causing loud noise in the inn.

(2) An innkeeper or an innkeeper's representative, must request that a person who is causing a disturbance

(a) desist, and

(b) if the person fails to desist or again causes a disturbance, leave the inn immediately

unless the innkeeper or the innkeeper's representative believes on reasonable grounds that there is a risk of harm to the innkeeper or the innkeeper's representative by making the request.

(3) If an innkeeper or an innkeeper's representative believes on reasonable grounds that there is a risk of harm to the innkeeper or innkeeper's representative by making the request under subsection (2), the innkeeper or innkeeper's representative must request that a peace officer make the request under that subsection.

(4) A person who fails to comply with a request under subsection (2) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of not more than $2 000.

(5) An innkeeper or an innkeeper's representative who fails to make a request required under subsection (2) or (3), as applicable, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of not more than $2 000.

Peace officer powers

7  A peace officer may

(a) make a request under section 6 (2)

(i)   if the innkeeper or innkeeper's representative fails to comply with that section, or

(ii)   in the circumstances described in section 6 (3), and

(b) arrest without a warrant a person who fails to comply with, or who is suspected on reasonable grounds of failing to comply with, a request under section 6 (2).

Section 5 of the Offence Act

8  Section 5 of the Offence Act does not apply to this Act.