Home Hotels Who Can Enter Your Hotel Room If You’re Not There

Who Can Enter Your Hotel Room If You’re Not There

by SharonKurheg

When a person is staying in a hotel room, they usually expect a certain amount of privacy, as long as they follow the rules. However that privacy only goes to a certain extent. There are some people who are allowed to enter a guest’s hotel room whether they’re there or not, and others who are not allowed in (except under specific circumstances).

Who Are Allowed?

Hotel management and staff are allowed to enter your room if you’re not present. After all, it’s legally their property – you’re just renting the room. You can refuse housekeeping if you’d prefer, but if the hotel people need to get in because of a maintenance or safety issue, they will, even if you’re not in there. Hopefully, they’ll tell you ahead of time (i.e. “We’re going to replace that light bulb that’s out that you told us about” or “We think there’s a leak coming from your shower and we need to check it out”), and hopefully, if they tell you they need to go in and you ask them not to, they’ll comply (although for that shower example, maybe not so much). But they’re under no obligation to do so because, again, it’s their property.

Many hotels also do a daily check of each hotel room, just to make sure everything is OK. This policy became more common after the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. The shooter had stockpiled weapons in his room for a week before he started shooting at people from his room at the Mandalay Bay. Had someone been checking the room, that tragedy possibly could have been avoided.

I remember a few months after that horrific event, Disneyland and Walt Disney World changed out their “Do Not Disturb” signs for “Room Occupied” hangtags, precisely because they started checking all rooms daily, whether hotel guests had requested daily housekeeping or not (Disney has sometimes offered incentives if you opt-out). Some people were NOT HAPPY (more like Grumpy. Get it??? LOL) and were concerned hotel staff was going to rummage through their belongings.

Which brings me to another point – while hotel staff is in there, they’re not allowed to go through your stuff. Their attention should only be on why they’re there – to fix the dripping faucet, to check out a complaint that someone said they thought you were smoking, etc.

Oh, and about those Do Not Disturb sign? Legally, they’re just a request; the hotel isn’t obligated to follow what’s on the sign (going back to the Las Vegas shooting, the suspect has his DND sign on his door for the week before be went on his shooting rampage).

Who Aren’t Allowed?

The police. Well, unless they have a search warrant with probable cause (thank-you, 4th Amendment to the Constitution), or have a valid emergency exception that exists, such as an immediate grave threat to someone’s life, the likelihood that a criminal will escape, or evidence of a crime will be lost or destroyed.

They also can’t ask the hotel staff to open the room for them.

There are, of course, all kinds of exceptions, and exceptions to the exceptions :-). These vary from state to state and sometimes even county to county. But IN GENERAL, just like your home, the police can’t enter your room without a warrant.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

3 comments

S. February 23, 2022 - 6:32 pm

This information isnt accurate you should check your facts before posting such things. They are absolutely not allowed to enter your room without ur knowledge especially if you have pets inside its violation of privacy. In california anyway. Im sure it varies by state but here u must give permission for them to enter or they can and should be sued for invasion of privacy. This is especially true for extended stay lodging facilities. The reason i know this is because ive gone thru this very problem personally so i can say with absolute certainty, this information isn’t true unless its an emergency in which case im not sure y u wouldn’t already be there… But only under extremely urgent circumstances are they allowed to enter or if ur not answering for 3days and no one has seen u come and go then its a wellness check at which point they cant open the door and look around from the door and that is it. They still aren’t supposed to enter unless accompanied by an officer that is present and then only the officer may enter.

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SharonKurheg February 23, 2022 - 10:33 pm

California is “that” state, which makes up its own rules for things, much to the chagrin or joy of their residents and visitors. That being said, I can assure you that, generally speaking, hotel management does indeed have the right to enter their hotel rooms, with reasonable reasons – that includes just sticking their head in to make sure a guest doesn’t have a arsenal of guns or other things that might cause concerns about public safety (i.e. the shooter at the Mirage, in Las Vegas). By the way, that also includes the hotels at Disneyland, in California.https://www.stimmel-law.com/en/articles/law-and-liability-hotels

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Lonnie April 25, 2022 - 9:19 pm

I was visiting a friend in a motel room residence inn at the Legends shopping mall in Sparks Nevada I went to the bathroom and someone else that was in the room stole my car keys and then stole my car I left the door cracked to walk another friend out and ask the motel desk could they please not let the maid that was on the floor lock my door even though it wasn’t my room I had permission to be there and like I said someone had just stolen my car I walk a friend out come back in and the management had went up to the room and close my door after going in the room and looking around then proceeded to lock me and my friend whose name the room was in out of the room won’t let us back in and will not give us our property but wants to charge us for a smoking fee which is for the person who rented the room the person who the room name is under but as a visitor how are they legally able to hold my property for money and I am not the resident in this room can anyone help with this

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