Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 35.1. Hotels, Restaurants, Summer Camps, and Campgrounds
Chapter 5. Posting Hotel Rates; Hotel Liability
5/21/2019

§ 35.1-28. Liability.

A. It shall be the duty of any person owning or operating a hotel to exercise due care and diligence in providing honest and competent employees and to take reasonable precautions to protect the persons and property of the guests of the hotel. No hotel shall be held liable in a sum greater than $300 for the loss of any wearing apparel, baggage, or other property not hereinafter mentioned belonging to a guest when such loss takes place from the room or rooms occupied by the guest. Unless the loss shall take place from the office of the hotel after the valuables are deposited there, no hotel shall be liable for any loss by any guest of jewelry, money, or other valuables of like nature belonging to any guest if the hotel shall have posted in the room or rooms of the guest in a conspicuous place, and in the office of the hotel, a notice stating that jewelry, money, and other valuables of like nature must be deposited in the office of the hotel. The hotel shall not be obligated to receive from any one guest for deposit in such office any property hereinbefore described exceeding a total value of $500.

B. Each guest's room shall have suitable locks on its doors and windows unless permanently secured. If a guest fails to lock the doors or windows of his room, the hotel shall not be liable for any property taken from the room in consequence of such failure on the part of the guest. The burden of proof shall be upon the operator of the hotel to show that he complied with the provisions of this section and that the guest failed to comply with these requirements.

C. In the case of loss by fire or overwhelming disaster, a hotel shall exercise ordinary and reasonable care in the custody of the baggage or other property of its guests, but in no case shall the hotel's liability exceed $250 to any one guest unless the negligence of the hotel was the cause of the fire or overwhelming disaster.

D. No liability shall attach to any hotel for the baggage, hats, umbrellas, coats, or other wearing apparel of a guest until the same is placed by the guest in the actual custody of an employee of the hotel. The mere depositing of such baggage, hats, umbrellas, coats, or other wearing apparel inside the hotel shall not be construed as putting in actual custody until taken in charge by the hotel or its employee, or properly placed in a room or rooms assigned to the guest.

E. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed so as to change or alter the principles of law concerning a hotel's liability to a guest or other person for personal injury, nor to exempt in anywise the owner or operator of a hotel from being liable for the value of any property of guests taken or stolen from any room therein by any employee or agent of the hotel.

F. A notice of the provisions of this section shall be posted conspicuously in each guest's room.

Code 1950, §§ 35-10, 35-11, 35-12, 35-13; 1981, c. 468.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.