I am excited to hear that you have fulfilled your life long dream of owning and managing a hotel. I am sure the Pelican Inn is going to be spectacular. The 200-room boutique hotel located in Prince George’s County, Maryland will be the place-to-be for people looking for a getaway to relax and reenergize. I know it will surely become my home away from home. Still, since opening day is coming soon, I thought you should be briefed on a few laws pertaining to hospitality.
The laws evolved around hotel, motel, and inns are governed around common laws legislation and administrative agencies rules and regulations, and ongoing court decisions. Legally the terms, hotel and inn are used interchangeably. Also, keep in mind, various statutes define “hotel” differently, so the definition can change depending on the law involved. There are more than 135, 000 new federal and state laws passed yearly which will affect your hotel directly and indirectly.
There are certain laws that uniquely apply to innkeepers, such as: Innkeepers must provide available accommodations and they are insurers of guests’ property, with certain exceptions. Laws of two states may differ with regard to same general issue. It is important for you to get a clear understanding of the laws in the state of Maryland because each state court is independent of other state jurisdictions. Additionally each state develops its own case law and judicial precedent.
Two federal circuit courts can reach different decisions while addressing the same type of legal problems because the Federal circuit court system comprises 13 judicial circuits, which are independent of one another. All circuits are overseen by the U.S. Supreme Court, which may or may not settle or reconcile differing decisions by the circuits. Lastly, federal court jurisdiction includes federal laws and disputes between citizens from different states.
Barak and Michelle, when you confirm and accept a guest reservation, you have more than likely entered into a contractual relationship with the guest. Just like, when you make purchases, hire employees (staff) and/or contractors to renovate and/or make repairs to the Pelican Inn, you have or will enter into a written or oral contract. There are necessary elements to formulate a contract to include the following: there must be an offer, acceptance, legal valid consideration, parties must have legal capacity to enter into a contract and the subject must not be illegal (gambling, fraud, theft, etc.).
So that you will have a clear understanding I want to define the terms “offer”, “acceptance,” and “consideration.” Offer: a proposal to exchange a promise or an act for a specified promise or act of another. The offer should define essential terms (identify parties, subject matter, time of performance, and compensation or price. Acceptance: manifestation of assent to the terms made by an offeree in a manner invited or required by the offer. Acceptance must be absolute to create a contract. Upon acceptance the offeror is bound by the promise in the offer. Consideration: money, property, a promise, an act or forbearance bargained for and given in return for a promise.
Now, there are different types of contracts express and implied, bilateral and unilateral and void, voidable, and unenforceable. An express contract sets forth in words, either written or oral. An implied contract is inferred from the acts and conduct of the parties. The distinction between bilateral and unilateral contract is that a bilateral contract are promises made by each party. A unilateral contract is when one party makes a promise; the other party either acts or refrains from acting. Void is a contract that cannot possibly have legal effect; it is not considered legal. Voidable contract may be affirmed or disaffirmed by one or more of the contracting parties, but is legal, valid and binding unless it is disaffirmed. An unenforceable