Hotel owners’ liability

With the tremendous increase of tourism in Greece over the last few years, issues have arisen regarding hotel owners’ liability to clients. In Greece, tourist service providers’ liability derives from provisions related to constitutional, criminal and civil law and also from special legal provisions (article 8 of Law 1652/30.10.1986). A hotel owner’s liability is strict and does not depend on their fault or the fault of their employees.

In order for the hotel owner’s legal liability to arise, according to Greek civil law, the liable person must be a hotelier and there must be a customer whose personal belongings are brought into the hotel. At this point, it should be underlined that money, bonds and jewellery are not considered as objects, from a legal aspect, and are governed by special provisions. For these items, a customer should hand them over to the hotel owner upon his arrival at the hotel and obtain a receipt.

The hotel owner has the duty to show a certain standard of care. He is liable even if the person that steals an object that belongs to a customer is not the hotel’s employee and has no connection with the hotel owner in general. On the other hand, the limitation of liability according to some provisions of the Greek civil code is correct and necessary since hotel owners should not be obliged to pay large sums due to the loss of jewellery, for example, while they receive a minimum amount of money in order to let a room…

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