Planning to accommodate stays over 29 days?

You need to know when a guest becomes a tenant


If you are planning to extend guest stays to more than 29 days, you should understand California laws. Thank you to Jim Abrams, legal consultant with California Hotel & Motel Association, for helping us out here:


"The law in California (Civil Code Section 1940)  distinguishes between what I call “limited service” hotels and “full service” hotels.  A full service property is one that has all of the amenities listed in Section 1940(b)(2).  If a hotel offers all of those amenities to all of its guests, the guests never become tenants."


"In contrast, if a hotel is a limited service property, a guest who has stayed at the property 30 consecutive days, and has paid the operator everything that the guest owes up through the 30th day, the guest automatically becomes a tenant on the 31st day.  You cannot just have the guest move to another room or check out and then check back in on the same day; the guest has to take his/her belongings and stay somewhere else for a day or so."


For vacation rental owners, "A VRBO would be considered a limited service property."


In additional discussion, Jim shared, as it relates to guests, a property can ask a guest to leave or have them removed by authorities. A tenant has rights to a property and a landlord must go to court to have them evicted. 


Limited service properties may adopt guest policies that limit guest stays to 29 days or less but the policy must be applied across the board without exception.


Property owners and managers should also consult your insurance agent, accountant and other advisers on any leases longer than 29 days. 


Jim's counsel is available to CABBI and CH&LA members only. Interested properties may visit the websites below to become a member.


California Hotel & Lodging Association

California Association of Boutique and Breakfast Inns


Contact us

Address: PO Box 6181, Santa Rosa, CA, 95406

Phone: (707) 234-7817

Email: sonomacountylodging@gmail.com


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