How old (or young) are you?

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Country Girl's picture
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02/20/2009

Can you ask a guest that question? We had a guest who booked online and then arrived when I was out (self check-in). Turns out they are in their late teens, seniors in high school from a local boarding school. This is not the first time this has happened. The last time was a group of 3 girls coming back to visit friends from high school. One of them drank too much at a school party and wound up in the hospital. Makes me crazy nervous having anyone under 21 here without parental permission. But how do I know how old they are when they book?! We are pretty pricey for this area so I wouldn't think someone that age could afford to stay here, but here they are! Do you ever turn anyone away once they've arrived because of their age? 

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

Our state association just had an innkeeper who was harassed and threatened because of refusing a minor. Slightly different scenario, because it was refusing a reservation where the couple had a young child. But, nevertheless, it's still a question of age discrimination. You must research if you state has any laws pertaining to lodging age discrimination.

Here is what was determined by this Oregon innkeeper's attorney. FYI, our state has a discrimination statute for lodging:

"The lawyer researched Federal Civil Rights Law re: Lodging accommodation. This law does not apply to age - other than elderly. It is about Race, Color, Religion, Marital Status, Gender, Sexual Preference, etc. He researched the OREGON STATUTE ON Discrimination re: ACCESS TO PUBLIC ACCOMODATIONS. (SP) IT IS THE SAME AS FEDERAL LAW EXCEPT IT HAS A CLAUSE THERE CAN BE NO AGE DISCRIMINATION FOR ANYONE AGE 18 and older. It seems WE CAN have policies in Oregon that do not allow children"

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

I guess something must have happened here awhile ago, and I will guess prom night where parents booked the kids in, but our state association got it on the books we can deny an unaccompanied minor a room.

Not an accompanied minor. Those kids we have to take but not if there isn't space in the room. IE - one bed, three people. No matter what you do at home!

I've gotten push back from plenty of parents who say all the hotels and other inns let them sleep 3 to a bed or on the floor or with a roll away or kid in a crib.

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06/24/2008

Madeleine wrote:

I've gotten push back from plenty of parents who say all the hotels and other inns let them sleep 3 to a bed or on the floor or with a roll away or kid in a crib.

Then let them go to a hotel!  You have your own standards with the comfort of your guests in mind.  Let them be uncomfortable somewhere else and then broadcast it on TA that they were.  Of course they will never say 'we were packed in there like sardines'.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Those guests are only thinking of themselves, we know that. They are not thinking how loud two unhappy children will be to the rooms neat them. And grumpy parents who have no room to open a suitcase.

But they don't see it that way.

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06/24/2008

There are many FL beach hotels with age restrictions of 23-25 where you have to be that age to reserve and 1 member must be that age to check in.  This was due to all the spring break incidents, does this assure there will be no issues?  No of course not but it can't hurt!

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Ask for a driver's license if you're uncertain. Check your state laws, also. I don't have to take anyone under 18 even with a parent's permission but I am happier if they're over 20.

If there are no state laws make it your own policy that it's 21+.

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

I know many car companies don't rent to people under certain ages, so it must be OK to be selective.

My own policies say at least one person in the room must be over age 23, and they have to agree with that policy before they make the reservation.

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10/07/2008

Arks wrote:

I know many car companies don't rent to people under certain ages, so it must be OK to be selective.

My own policies say at least one person in the room must be over age 23, and they have to agree with that policy before they make the reservation.

Insurance.

I don't blame them!

The reason I mentioned the park cabins is we had a competition and I was concerned that an 18 year old still in high school (which is the norm here) would win and invite all their rowdy friends over for the weekend. You only had to be 18 to enter. You only had to be 18 to rent one.

Yes it could happen with anyone.

Yes they could be responsible by 18. 

but...

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10/07/2008

FYI You can rent a cabin at a state park in this state if you are 18 years old. I wanted to find this out, due to our own place requesting 21. So that is the law in my state.

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10/07/2008

Do you ever turn anyone away once they've arrived because of their age?

We have wedding nights, once in a while paid for by the parents of younger couples.

This is why I am adamant about seeing who is staying here, as we have an incidence or two from this forum of teacher-student funny business, etc. So be careful, if you doubt, card em! Your business, your rules, card em! 

But, just because they look young, someone thought out elopement last weekend were teens, they were in mid to late 30's. 

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Legal age of majority is 18, here. At that point they are legally adults in this jurisdiction. It's against the law for me to discriminate against them at that point. But I am adamant about it and it's on all the policies. Someone over 18 must be present. It's actually the law. Otherwise I become guardian. Learnt that one as a teacher. At that point I will call the cops and social services.

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seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

 oy, it's always something! if it's not in your policies, it needs to be added. no unaccompanied guests under age ....... 21 if that's the age you want

 we had adults book rooms and then drop off teens later and leave.   something i didn't realize until the next morning. the guests were no problem but i felt like they'd pulled a fast one on me.  as i was showing the woman the room, she didn't say 'oh, it's my daughters who will be staying here, not me and my husband.'   i had adults who were disgusting and drunk and made a terrible mess. so it isn't always the kids.

 i had a cousin who was married at 17 ... still married today ... very responsible person. it's so hard to know

are there local laws about it?

 

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06/24/2008

One way around asking their age, as they may lie, is to ask for their license when they check in along with their CC info. 

Your state B&B association or hotel association may be able to provide you with the laws in your state but I believe every state has a law stating you have the right to refuse to do business with anyone. 

Since this has been an issue for you on more than one occasion, you may consider having a notice on your website that requires them to agree to the following:

        I am at least XX years of age and that at least one guest in my party will be at least XX years of age upon check in.

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01/12/2013

Does your reservation program make them check a box that they've read the policies, and do your policies state a minimum age?  If so, then you have every right to ask them to leave if you are uncomfortable with it. 

I will take couples under 21, but I am very straight with them on the phone about what will happen if they are disruptive with other guests.  I would have no problem with knocking on a door if that were the case, and asking them to leave if it continued.  Or if there was drinking involved.  I am not going to be sued by someone's parents because they were drinking on my property.

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