Caterer and Hotelkeeper – 9390

01 January 2000
Caterer and Hotelkeeper – 9390

1. The Romans introduced the law in Scotland, which became custom in England, because innkeepers often worked with highwaymen to rob guests of their goods. The provisions are still in force.

2. Food, drink - normally considered to mean alcohol, but need not be in some circumstances - and accommodation, if required. This should be without special contract to travellers.

3. (c). Therefore, it is the company that has the legal requirement to comply with the law and is responsible for the corresponding duties.

4. (a) is a traveller despite being local and only purchasing drink; (b) is not a traveller, due to the length of stay; (c) is a traveller, but should be there with the knowledge of the innkeeper.

5. Now, as then, feeding and stabling need only be given if the facilities exist and are not full. Luggage and goods must be reasonably accommodated, but a car need not be garaged.

6. No, but reasonable refreshment can be demanded. sandwiches would normally be considered adequate and drinks could not be alcoholic if outside the licensing hours.

7. Almost certainly. If the guest had been shown a plan of the hotel previously, this may be a defence. Also, if the area was marked "staff only", and the guest was just looking for the loo, a claim would be unlikely to succeed.

8. Concerning the property of a guest resident in the hotel, the hotel has strict liability. The guest does not have to prove negligence. However, the guest must not have been negligent, and liability may be limited.

9. Under common law in England and Wales, an innkeeper may be indicted for refusing a guest without lawful excuse.

10. The law says refreshment and accommodation need only be given to those who "appear able and willing to pay a reasonable sum". Therefore, the innkeeper can demand advance payment.

11. (a), (b) and (c) are not goods permitted to be held as lien, and this would include the guest's car (or horse). (d) may be held, along with goods brought to the establishment which were previously hired, but not hired during the stay.

12. Goods must be sold by auction, and before doing so there must be an advertisement. The account must have been outstanding for more than six weeks. Additional monies, after costs, must be paid to the owner.

13. Personal safety is covered by occupiers' liability legislation, the same for all establishments. In respect of property, the guest would normally be required to prove negligence by the proprietor or his staff.

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