The relevant provisions uphold the common law requirement that an accommodation provider is liable to "make good damage to property" brought on to the premises by a guest. That is, at common law, the accommodation provider is akin to an "insurer" of personal property that is stolen, damaged, or disappears brought by a guest (except where the guest is negligent).
Firstly, the liability of the accommodation provider is excluded if the property was a vehicle, or in a vehicle, or the traveller is not a guest. More significantly, however, is that currently the liability of the accommodation provider is capped at $300 per guest. That is, no matter how valuable the goods are that have been lost or stolen, a guest can only recover a maximum amount prescribed by the law, which is currently $300.
This cap does have two exceptions. They are when the accommodation provider was negligent, and secondly if the goods have been specifically left with an employee of the hotel for safekeeping. Historically, the Innkeepers Act required that a sign be put up to inform travellers of this cap (which historically was $100). However, this requirement has not been reintroduced in the Fair Trading Act and is no longer required.
Finally, accommodation providers who have not sought legal advice since 2019 should do so to ensure that they are complying with their obligations regarding the property of hotel guests. McCabe Curwood has experience in advising commercial, including those in the travel industry, and private clients in relation to their liability and legal obligations.
The contents of this article do not constitute legal advice, are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.
You should seek legal advice or other professional advice in relation to any particular matters raised by this article.