Lodging Security Toolkit

Lodging Security Toolkit https://wahospitality.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/LodgingToolkite_website750w.png

In Washington state there have been reports of abuses of the eviction moratorium law, with hotels being occupied and having occupants be protected from eviction due to the rules of the moratorium. This can pose a great risk to your staff and guests. We have prepared some resources to help you create policies to safeguard you against unwanted, prolonged occupation. For our hotel members we have our employment law compliance guide, which can help you understand precisely what your employees’ rights are and how you can exercise them.

Bear in mind some of these best practices:

  • Individuals who have been on a property for 14 days or more may not be removed under the eviction moratorium executive order, if they would otherwise go homeless. Consider implementing a policy which requires guests to leave the premises and check into a different hotel before 14 days have passed.
  • Recognize red flags — multi-room bookings, third parties booking rooms for others, and any other booking where it is unclear whether the person paying for the room is the same person who will be occupying it. Create policies to provide better accountability for guests — require IDs to be shown, even from those who are carrying hotel keys, especially if they are unfamiliar faces.
  • If a guest poses a significant and immediate risk to health, safety or the property of others, you should call the police and evict the guest. This eviction is an exception to the moratorium and requires an affidavit by the general manager. However, bear in mind that there is a backlog of eviction cases in the courts, and some police can be unwilling to evict. If criminal behavior is being witnesses, though, police should be able to act.
  • Establish your new policies, put them in writing and enforce them regularly. New security measures can be a strain on your staff, but keeping them clear-cut and enforced at all levels will alleviate this considerably.

We are preparing a detailed article to provide operational advice and guidance to hoteliers, which will be available soon behind our members-only hub, and we hope to continue to develop new resources to help you navigate these challenges.

Other resources:

American Hotel and Lodging Association

Security preparedness

Safety and security assessment form

Official responses

City of Olympia statement on hotel occupation

Categories: Toolkits