Can A Hotel Kick You Out Every 28 Days?

No, if the purpose is to have the guest maintain status as a “transient” and avoid becoming a tenant. The law draws a very clear line between a tenant and a guest. Guests who stay at a hotel or motel in California for less than 30 days in a row are considered “transient.” For example, a guest may stay at an Anaheim extended stay hotel for a week, pay in advance for the week, and then leave after the week. The guest would be considered a transient and be subject to a tax called the “transient occupancy” tax. The hotel could also immediately kick out the transient guest without any formal legal proceedings. But a guest’s rights and protections change when the guest stays for an extended time.

When a guest at a motel or hotel stays for 30 or more consecutive days, then the guest becomes a tenant. He or she is no longer a transient guest. A tenant has far more protection than a guest staying short term at a hotel. Importantly, a tenant can only be evicted through unlawful detainer proceedings. For years, Yash Law Group has represented guests of hotels and motels in California who should be considered tenants, but have been unlawfully kicked out of a hotel or motel units every 28 days.

Hotels Who Force Guests to Leave Every 28 Day May Be Violating the Law

Owners of hotels and motels prefer to keep guests in “transient” status, because for them it is much easier to kick these types of guests out of the hotel. With a guest who becomes a tenant, on the other hand, the owner or operator must initiate unlawful detainer proceedings, which can be costly and lengthy. It also prohibits a guest from being kicked out the same day, which hotels can do with a “transient” guest.

Hotels may take a variety of steps to avoid guests becoming tenants. Chief among them is they force guests to leave every 28 days for 24 hours or so. This practice is known as the 28-day shuffle. And it is illegal.

Under hotel policy, guests at a residential hotel may stay at the hotel for months or years at a time so long as they leave their unit for 24 hours every 28 days. California hotels and motels believe that by kicking out a guest for 24 hours before the guest stays for 30 consecutive days, they avoid the guest becoming a tenant. This is wrong. Guests cannot be evicted from a hotel every 28 days because the owner or operator is trying to avoid the landlord-tenant laws to apply to the guests. A hotel or motel guest who is deprived of the rights of a tenant may be entitled to compensation.

Aggressive Civil Attorney Seeking Justice For Hotel Guests Who Are Victims of 28-Day Shuffle

California Civil Code section 1940.1 protects guests who use their units as a primary residence from being forced to check out, or move out and then re-register, just so the hotel or motel owner can avoid landlord-tenant laws. For example, a motel in Los Angeles may have a policy to kick out guests every 28 days, but let them check back in 24 hours later, so the guest remains a “transient” (and does not become a tenant). This hotel is breaking the law. California Civil Code section 1940.1 provides for a $500 penalty to be paid to a guest for each incident that the guest was subjected to the 28-day shuffle. This penalty is meant to punish a hotel or motel owner or operator for each violation against each guest.

Residential hotels are also known to interfere, by force or threats, with the rights of guests who are tenants and who are simply trying to use their units. Examples of this include locking out guests from their units every 28 days, preventing the guests from retrieving belongings in the units, and threatening them with violence or police if they try to return before the 24-hour waiting period. Such conduct may also violate the law, including California Civil Code section 52.1.

Attorney Yashdeep “Jesse” Singh has prosecuted class actions against hotels and motels throughout California for subjecting guests to the 28-day shuffle. A single guest can bring a class action and seek penalties and money damages for him or herself as well as the other guests of the same hotel. Contact us today if you were forced to leave a hotel or motel before 30 days.

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