Post Your Maximum Room Rates
Texas Hotel & Lodging Association
With the end of the year upon us, now is a great time to evaluate whether your hotel property will need to revise its maximum room rate signs for any upcoming events.
Texas law requires a hotel to post a maximum room rate notice in each guestroom. The rate posted is the maximum a hotel would charge in a sell-out situation. There is no specific “maximum” amount that a hotel is limited to, but it should post a rate that is high enough to cover what the hotel would expect to rent the room for in your highest demand period, but not so unrealistically high that the property would never receive such a rate.
If a lodging property increases the room rate on the posting, the lodging property must wait until after 30 days have passed since the new rate is posted before charging the higher rate. A lodging property must also have a space on the posting to note the date that you posted the current rate, so that it shows that at least 30 days have passed since the date that this maximum rate was posted before it applies to guests.
For example, if your hotel is in Houston and you plan on raising your rates beyond your current posted maximum for the 2017 Super Bowl, that new higher room rate must be posted at least 30 days before you can charge the higher rate.
Pricing notes about disasters:
Special rules for room rates apply when there is a declared disaster. Aside from the required room rate signage, the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) deals with price gouging during a disaster. Specifically, Tex. Bus. & Com. Code § 17.46(b)(27) states that “taking advantage of a disaster declared by the governor under Chapter 418, Government Code, by:
(A) selling or leasing fuel, food, medicine, or another necessity at an exorbitant or excessive price; or
(B) demanding an exorbitant or excessive price in connection with the sale or lease of fuel, food, medicine, or another necessity” is unlawful and is subject to action by the Texas Attorney General.
If a disaster is declared, THLA provides additional guidance on room rate pricing.
Limited Liability Posting:
By posting the limited liability statute on your guest room doors, you limit the lodging property’s liability on guests’ property to $50 for missing or damaged items, if the following conditions are meet: 1) the lodging property has a metal safe at the front desk or in the guestroom, 2) the missing or damaged item could have fit in the safe, 3) the loss is not due to the hotel’s negligence or the negligence of an employee of the hotel, and 4) it is possible for the hotel to issue a receipt for the deposit of the valuables in the safe.
Below, we have included required room rate posting language:
LIMITED LIABILITY LAW
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF
THE STATE OF TEXAS
§ 2155.052. Liability for Valuables – (a) This section applies only to a hotel, apartment hotel, or boardinghouse keeper who: (1) continuously maintains a metal safe or vault in the keeper’s hotel, apartment hotel, or boardinghouse that is in good order and fit for the custody of money, jewelry, silver or gold articles, precious stones, personal ornaments, or documents; and (2) keeps suitable locks or bolts on the guests’ sleeping room doors and proper fastenings on the transom and window of guest rooms. (b) A hotel, apartment hotel, or boardinghouse keeper is not liable for a loss or injury suffered by a guest from the loss of valuables in an amount of more than $50 if: (1) the valuables could reasonably have been kept in the safe or vault of the hotel, apartment hotel, or boardinghouse; (2) the loss or injury does not occur through the negligence or wrongdoing of the keeper or an employee of the hotel, apartment hotel, or boardinghouse; and (3) a printed copy of this section is posted on the door of the guest’s sleeping room. (c) Subsection (b) does not apply if: (1) the guest offered to deliver the valuables to the hotel, apartment hotel, or boardinghouse keeper for custody in the safe or vault; and (2) the hotel, apartment hotel, boarding hotel, or boardinghouse keeper did not: (A) deposit the valuables in the safe or vault; and (B) issue a receipt for the valuables.
This room will accommodate ________ people during a capacity period. When use of this room is demanded to the exclusion of other guests desiring accommodations, the full charge of $__________ will be made per day for such room. During a period when it is necessary to utilize this room to its full capacity, the following maximum rates apply:
1 guest $ __________ 3 guests $__________
2 guests $__________ 4 guests $__________
Posted ________ day of ____________________, 20___