Innkeeper Liability Law and Legal Definition

Most modern jurisdictions require that lodgings exercise reasonable care to protect guests and tenants from reasonably foreseeable crime risks.   Among the elements found to be indications of the foreseeability of crime are:

1. Evidence of past crimes

2. Frequency of those crimes

3. History of crimes of a particular nature

4. Recent increase in community crime rate

5. Location in an area that statistically indicates a likelihood of crime

6. Security problems posed by the facility's design

7. Reports of suspicious persons or activities in the area

8. Guest or tenant activities that tend to attract security problems

9. Guest or tenants with special vulnerabilities

10. Location on the premises of tenants who serve alcohol

11. High population of non-guest visitors

12. Special events

Lodgings have been found liable for guest injuries and losses in some the following places on the property (to name just a few):

1. Guest rooms

2. Function spaces

3. Elevators

4. Parking facilities

5. Corridors

6. Stairwells

7. Utility rooms

8. Beach and pool areas

9. Lavatories

10. Bars and restaurants

11. Adjacent public streets and parks

12. Off-property facilities

Plaintiffs have alleged that innkeepers and landlords have shown either a total disregard of the duty to protect tenants and guests, or that they have been negligent in performing their duty to provide reasonable security under the circumstances.

Among the specific claims made by a singe-plaintiff guest who alleged that property was stolen from his hotel room have been the following:

  • Failure to change door locks to rooms following an earlier theft report.
  • Failure to change or rotate guest room door locks.
  • Making excessive duplicates of keys to guest rooms.
  • Maintaining a video camera that was not operable.
  • Placing a video system in a manner which did not include the plaintiff's room.
  • Failure to regularly monitor the video system.
  • Creating a false sense of security through negligent placement of the video system.
  • Knowing or having reason to know that persons seen leaving guest rooms were not registered guests.
  • Knowing or having reason to know of a lost room master key without taking corrective action.
  • Failure to warn plaintiff of a known security breach.
  • Failure to warn plaintiff of known criminal activity in the area.
  • Failure to discharge or adequately supervise employee maid believed to be involved in prior thefts.