Cancelled Guest House Bookings (the legal position)
A contract for the reservation of accommodation at a guest house whether by writing
or verbal imposes an obligation on the proprietor to hold a room/rooms at the disposal
of the guest for an agreed period and the guest to pay for the accommodation so reserved
If either party seeks to vary or cancel the contract this can only be done by mutual
agreement or in the absence of such agreement subject to liability to compensate
the other party for any loss occasioned thereby.
Cancellation of a booking by a Guest without the consent of the proprietor or failure
to arrive on the due date whatever the reason entitles the proprietor To claim compensation
subject to the following condition They must take all reasonable steps to re-let
the room and reduce the claim accordingly.
As re- letting is possible up to the last day of the period booked, no claim should
be made until that period has expired. Any claim for compensation must exclude items,
such as food, which have not been supplied but extra Expense incurred in trying to
re-let the (e.g. advertising Phone calls) may be added. If the Guest has paid a booking
fee, this will not be returnable unless the proprietor’s claim is less than the booking
fee, in which case any balance should be refunded.
In cases where claims for compensation have been decided county courts, Guest House
proprietors normally are Awarded damages on the basis of two thirds of a full board
booking, The remaining one third being regarded as the value of food not Supplied.
It has also been held that illness does not entitle a Guest To cancel the contract
without compensation to the Proprietor. The British Hotels and restaurants association
issues this statement for the information of Guests to its members and to the members
of affiliated associations.