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Right to refuse service in an Accommodation (UK)

Right to refuse service in an Accommodation (UK)
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
9/2/2013
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 70,831
Experience: Over 5 years in practice.
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Hi

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What loss is the guest claiming he has suffered?
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Hi I'm not sure if my response was received. The guest is claiming I was legally obliged to provide accommodation to her regardless of their behavior. It is my understand that as accommodation owners we have the right to refuse service to anyone at anytime and without explanation. Kindly let me know should you require any further information.

Customer reply replied 4 years ago
Relist: Other.
Hi my question is about the right to refuse service as an accommodation owner in the UK
Thanks.

What I need to know is what is his loss?
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Guest is claiming loss of Accommodation. They were refunded the money for the second night they originally had booked.

Thank you.

There's nothing to worry about here.

Arguably you are in breach of contract. Unless you actually made it a term of the contract that all guests return sober, or there is some other term in the contract that would cover drunkenness or his behaviour, refusing him access was a breach of contract.

However, breach of contracts only give rise to compensation for the actual loss sustained. You refunded him the money that amounted to consideration of the contract and he hasn't mentioned any other loss.

What ever he is saying on the point, unless he has suffered actual loss, there is no claim against you.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Thank you for response. To clarify my question, it is my understanding that restaurants, shops etc. have the right to refuse service to any one at any time and without an explanation. As a general rule does this law apply to accommodation providers? I understand there was no loss to the guest in this situation, however, I wanted to clarify that it is not illegal to ask unruly guests to leave our premises. Many thanks

They can do that but that isn't what you did here.

You were locked into a contract because he had paid already. Refusing him access was a breach.

With restaurants no contract exists until a purchase it made.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

I understand there is a contract made to provide accommodation. But surely unruly behavior changes the situation. Do I need to post a list of every type of unruly behavior in the terms and conditions. It seems unreasonable to have to accept to receive abuse from guests. Again, thanks for your response.

No, but you do need a clause in the contract upon which you can rely.

You cannot just argue he was unacceptably behaved unless there was provision for that in the contract.

Also, in fact, then the complaint would not be drunkenness but unruly behaviour.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Thanks for your response. What I am failing to see if the difference between right to refuse service in a restaurant/shop and in an accommodation.


i.e. customer enters a restaurant, places a food order and then is verbally abusive to the staff and refused service/asked to leave. In this case a verbal 'contract' was made to provide the food to the guest for the agreed price that would be paid at the end of the meal.


 


In the case of accommodation, an 'order' is placed for a room at an agreed rate and paid for when the guest checks out. But in this case if the guest is verbally abusive and asked to leave then there is a breach of contract?


 


Should I list a unruly guest clause in the terms and conditions attached to booking confirmations or have the guest sign a contract when they arrive?


 


Again, I am having a difficult time understanding why anyone, in any job should legally be obliged to serve a intoxicated, rude and insulting customer?


 


 


You were locked into a contract because he had paid already. Refusing him access was a breach.

With restaurants no contract exists until a purchase it made.

The difference is that here a contract existed whereas in a restaurant it does not and nobody can be forced to enter into a contract.

You can refuse accommodation. What you cannot do is agree to accommodate him, reach a binding contract and then refuse to comply unless, of course, there is a clause in your contract allowing you to do so.

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

So would it be sufficient to post a 'behavior clause' on my website and attach this in the terms and conditions on our email booking confirmations or do I need each guest to physically sign a contract?

Yes, you can resolve this problem by adding a clause that says that you can exclude as a result of unruly behaviour.

But it doesn't much matter anyway because if you refund their money there is no loss.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

With 95% of our guests, they pay when they check out. So in the event of an unruly abusive guest in the future, if I need to ask them to leave, then again, there would be no loss if I did not require them to pay for the portion of their stay they did not use? Again I am simply trying to understand if I could be liable for anything for asking a guest to leave if they are abusive.

Yes, absolutely right.

I suppose they could try claiming the difference between the cost of your B & B and the one they have to stay in as a loss but its not a brilliant claim. You can deal with that by a conduct clause anyway.

Asking people who are abusive to leave is reasonable but you need to add a clause in your contracts that allows for it. The website and any electronic contracts is fine.
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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Experience: Over 5 years in practice.
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Jo C.
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