Compared to most of our friends in, for example, Europe, workers in the United States don’t get a whole lot of paid time off (PTO). Unlike countries that have a government-mandated minimum annual PTO, on top of paid public holidays, some Americans must sometimes have to settle for just 1 or 2 weeks of time off per year. Depending on the industry, we may get more time than that, but it’s still rarely as much as, say, Andorra (minimum of 45 days of paid leave per year), Malta (41), or Austria (38). Oh, and in Iran? They get the most – 53 paid days off per year!
But for those who do get a lot of PTO, have to work on location, are from another country and are taking an extended holiday/vacation, or are retired, they may have noticed sometime interesting about staying in a hotel in the U.S. – for most places, you’ll only be allowed to stay there for up to 30 days.
What’s up with that?
Turns out that in the United States, your status changes after staying in a hotel for more than 30 days. Instead of being a renter, you become a legal occupant (read: tenant), and the hotel becomes a long term rental instead of a short term one.
When you’re a legal occupant of a hotel room, that means you can stay in the room for as long as you want. For a regular hotel that normally works with short term rentals, that’s not a good thing – if they want you to leave the room because, let’s say, they have a sellout for a convention, you’d have to be evicted if you didn’t want to leave.
As a legal tenant, you also don’t have to pay taxes for your room, just like you don’t have to pay taxes to your landlord if you rent an apartment.
There are, of course, all kinds of exclusions to this. If you check out and check back in again, your “clock” gets reset to zero. Extended stay hotels are specifically prepared for their guests to stay for long periods of time and even oftentimes have special rates for longer visits. Some people have special agreements and live in hotels for literally YEARS.
But for a normal hotel, such as when you’re on vacation, you’re usually limited to 30 nights. And now you know why.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary