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With hurricane season underway, travelers may wonder about their rights and a hotel’s responsibilities during severe storms. If a hurricane strikes while you stay at a hotel, can they legally kick you out?

The answer to this question depends on various factors, including the local laws where the hotel is located, the terms of the guest agreement, and the specific circumstances of your stay.

This comprehensive guide will explore hotel policies and laws related to evicting guests during hurricanes. We’ll cover reasons a hotel may ask you to leave, your rights as a guest, steps hotels take to accommodate guests in storms, and what to do if you feel wrongfully evicted.

Reasons a Hotel Could Ask You to Leave

Guest leaving the hotel

When it comes to staying at a hotel during a hurricane, there may be situations where the hotel management finds it necessary to ask guests to leave. While this can be inconvenient, it is important to understand the reasons behind such a decision.

Here are some of the most common reasons a hotel could ask you to leave during a hurricane:

Overbooking Issues

Overbooking issues are one of the main reasons a hotel may ask you to leave during a hurricane. Sometimes, hotels may unintentionally overbook their rooms, especially during peak travel seasons or increased demand due to an approaching hurricane.

In such cases, the hotel may need to relocate some guests to other accommodations to honor their reservations. While this can be frustrating, hotels are legally allowed to do so as long as they provide alternative arrangements and compensate the guests for any inconvenience caused.

Safety Concerns

The safety of guests is always a top priority for hotel management. During a hurricane, hotels may need to evacuate their premises to ensure the safety of everyone present.

If the local authorities issue evacuation orders or the hotel deems it unsafe to stay due to potential hazards like flooding, high winds, or structural damage, they have the legal right to ask guests to leave.

In such cases, hotels often work closely with emergency management agencies to guide and assist their guests.

Property Damage or Misconduct

In extreme cases, a hotel may ask guests to leave if they cause property damage or misconduct. This can include situations where a guest deliberately damages hotel property, violates hotel policies, or disrupts other guests.

Hotels have the legal right to protect their property and ensure the comfort of all their guests. In such instances, guests may be asked to leave immediately and held responsible for damages or losses.

It is important to remember that while hotels have the legal right to ask guests to leave in certain situations, they are also bound by laws and regulations that protect the rights of guests.

It is always recommended to familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of your hotel reservation and any local laws that may apply to ensure a smooth and comfortable stay, even during challenging times such as hurricanes.

Also Read:
Can A Hotel Charge Your Card For Damages?
Damage To Hotel Room: Who Pays?

Guest Rights During Hurricanes

Tropical storm batters palm trees

Federal and State Laws Protect Consumers

When it comes to hurricanes, guests staying at hotels have certain rights and protections under federal and state laws. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state consumer protection agencies enforce these laws to ensure that consumers are treated fairly during emergencies such as hurricanes.

These laws are in place to prevent hotels from taking advantage of guests and to ensure that guests are provided with safe and secure accommodations.

For example, the FTC’s “Unfair and Deceptive Acts or Practices” rule prohibits hotels from engaging in deceptive practices or making false claims in their advertising or business practices. Hotels cannot mislead guests about their ability to provide safe accommodations during a hurricane or any other emergency.

Guests can take legal action and seek compensation for damages if a hotel fails to live up to its promises or misrepresents the conditions.

Hotels Must Provide Habitable Conditions

Hotels are required by law to provide guests with habitable conditions, even during a hurricane. This means that hotels must take necessary steps to ensure the safety and well-being of their guests, such as securing the building, providing adequate shelter, and maintaining essential services like electricity and running water.

If a hotel fails to meet these requirements and puts guests at risk, it may be liable for any injuries or damages.

It’s important to note that hotels cannot simply evict guests without cause, even during a hurricane. They must have a valid reason to do so, such as if the building becomes unsafe or uninhabitable due to severe weather conditions.

In such cases, hotels are generally required to provide alternative accommodations or assist guests in finding suitable shelter.

You May Be Entitled to a Refund

Guests may be entitled to a refund if a hotel cannot provide safe and habitable conditions during a hurricane.

The specific refund policies may vary depending on the hotel and the circumstances, so reviewing the hotel’s cancellation and refund policies before making a reservation is important.

In some cases, hotels may offer full or partial refunds or allow guests to reschedule their stay for a later date.

It’s worth mentioning that some travel insurance policies may also provide coverage for trip cancellations or interruptions due to hurricanes. These policies can help protect guests from financial losses and provide peace of mind during uncertain times.

However, it’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions of the insurance policy to understand what is covered and what is not.

How Hotels Accommodate Guests During Storms

When a hurricane or severe storm approaches, hotels ensure their guests’ safety and well-being.

While rare, hotels may need to take certain measures to protect their guests and employees. Here are some ways hotels accommodate guests during storms:

Offer Discounted Extended Stays

Offer Discounted Extended Stays

In the face of an impending hurricane, hotels often offer discounted extended stays to guests who cannot leave the area. This gives guests a safe place to stay and ride out the storm without worrying about finding alternative accommodations.

Hotels show their commitment to guest safety and satisfaction by providing this option.

Provide Shelter and Amenities

Hotels are also responsible for providing shelter and essential amenities to guests during a storm. This may include ensuring that each room has enough supplies such as bottled water, flashlights, and non-perishable food items.

Additionally, hotels may designate certain areas within the building as safe zones where guests can seek shelter if needed.

Furthermore, hotels often have backup power generators to ensure that essential services such as lighting and air conditioning continue to operate during power outages. This helps to maintain a comfortable and safe environment for guests throughout the storm.

Also Read:
Backup Generators at Hotels: Policies and Purpose

Relocate Guests as Needed

In extreme cases where the hotel’s location is at high risk, or the storm intensifies, hotels may need to evacuate their guests to safer locations. This decision is made with the guidance of local authorities and is done to prioritize guest safety above all else.

Hotel staff will assist guests in finding alternative accommodations and transportation to ensure their well-being.

It’s important to note that each hotel may have different policies and procedures for storm situations. It is always advisable for guests to stay informed about the hotel’s storm policies and follow any instructions given by hotel staff or local authorities to ensure their safety.

For more information on hotel safety during storms, you can visit

What To Do If You Are Evicted

Luggage in a corridor

Being evicted from a hotel during a hurricane can be a stressful and alarming experience. However, knowing your rights and taking appropriate steps to protect yourself is important.

Here are some actions you can take if you find yourself in this situation:

Clarify the Reason for Eviction

If you are informed that you must leave the hotel due to an eviction during a hurricane, it is crucial to clarify the reason behind it. Some hotels, such as structural concerns or mandatory evacuation orders, may have legitimate reasons for asking guests to leave.

However, it is important to know that hotels cannot evict guests without valid reasons.

Remember: You have the right to ask for a clear explanation from hotel staff regarding the eviction. If they fail to provide a valid reason or if you believe that their reasons are unjustified, you may have grounds to dispute the eviction.

Refuse to Leave Unless Safety is at Risk

Safety should always be your top priority. If you are asked to leave the hotel but are concerned about your safety, it is important to communicate this to the hotel staff. Sometimes, hotels may be legally required to provide shelter and accommodation during severe weather conditions.

If you feel that leaving the hotel would put you in immediate danger, explain your concerns to the staff and request that they provide a safe alternative.

Tip: It is helpful to research the local laws and regulations regarding hotel evacuations during hurricanes in the area you are visiting. This will give you a better understanding of your rights and what the hotel is required to do in such situations.

Document Interactions and Request a Refund

Keep a record of all interactions with hotel staff regarding the eviction. This includes noting down the names of the staff members you spoke to, the dates and times of the conversations, and any relevant details discussed.

This documentation can be useful if you need to escalate the situation or seek legal assistance later.

Pro Tip: Request a refund for the remaining nights of your stay. If you are being evicted due to circumstances beyond your control, it is reasonable to expect a refund for the nights you were unable to stay at the hotel.

Politely ask the staff for a refund and, if necessary, follow up with a written request.

Remember, being evicted from a hotel during a hurricane can be a challenging experience, but understanding your rights and taking appropriate action can help protect yourself and ensure you receive fair treatment. Stay informed, stay safe, and don’t hesitate to seek legal advice if needed.

Also Read: Can I Cancel My Hotel Due to a Hurricane? Options for Severe Weather


While rare, understandably, there are some cases where a hotel may legally need to evict guests during a hurricane. However, hotels generally must accommodate and protect guests to the best of their abilities.

By knowing your rights and working cooperatively with hotel staff, travelers can rest assured they have a safe place to weather any storms while away from home.

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