innkeepers quarters

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sorry if this has been asked before.  i searched and didnt see a topic relating to it.  is it mandatory for an innkeeper to reside IN the bed and breakfast?  is it acceptable for an innkeeper to live in a separate building on the property or, in special cases, live off site completely?  

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I'm new to the forum but I have been an innkeeper for 7 years.  We have a modern B&B where each room has it's own entrance and even 1 stand alone cabin.  We have a house on the property and advertise ourselves as a non-hosted B&B.  We explain to our guests (via email) that we do not have a front desk.  We do set up a small breakfast in our common building (we call it the Social Hall) each morning and we take several strolls around the property throughout the day and visit with guests.  Our guests have our phone number and can call us at any time if they need something.  Our guests don't seem to mind at all.  We host mostly couples looking for privacy and quiet.

happykeeper's picture
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Welcome. It sounds a lot like what we might do when we sell our current inn.  

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This sounds like my cup of tea both as a guest and as an innkeeper!  Welcome smiley

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campcomfort wrote:

I'm new to the forum but I have been an innkeeper for 7 years.  We have a modern B&B where each room has it's own entrance and even 1 stand alone cabin.  We have a house on the property and advertise ourselves as a non-hosted B&B.  We explain to our guests (via email) that we do not have a front desk.  We do set up a small breakfast in our common building (we call it the Social Hall) each morning and we take several strolls around the property throughout the day and visit with guests.  Our guests have our phone number and can call us at any time if they need something.  Our guests don't seem to mind at all.  We host mostly couples looking for privacy and quiet.

I am following you on FB. Love your style. Welcome to the forum! 

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MichDream2017, good luck! We are two weeks into our innkeeping experience. We have a dog that we keep in our on-site innkeepers quarters. He occasionally wanders out into the dining room and further if he finds the door left open. We keep him trimmed short so he doesn't shed. There is a B&B down the street that let their dogs go all over the place, interact with guests and such. They are very popular and guests love the dogs. 

As far as living on site, check with the insurance company you will be using. I don't know the details, but I think they might require a sprinkler system if there isn't an innkeeper on site over night while guests are present. Or something like that. 

Plus I think you probably want to live there. To me, it is part of the whole experience. It's convenient too. 

Good luck with the venture!

C

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MichDream2017 wrote:

sorry if this has been asked before.  i searched and didnt see a topic relating to it.  is it mandatory for an innkeeper to reside IN the bed and breakfast?  is it acceptable for an innkeeper to live in a separate building on the property or, in special cases, live off site completely?  

Note that if the bed and breakfast is not owner occupied (USA), you are subject to the federal ADA requirements; and for older buildings, these can be expensive and onerous.  Owner occupied B&Bs with 5 guest rooms or fewer are exempt.  Your state/county/city might impose even stricter ADA requirements.

I am not sure how this applies to owners on site, but not in the same building.  I suspect if you do not live in the building, you are subject.  Maybe someone has more insight to that...

 

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In our state at least, existing businesses that are not in conformance with new regulations are usually "grandfathered," (typically unless we carry out a major renovation or expansion, which would then likely be subject to the new regulation). Not sure how a transfer of ownership impacts the grandfathering (depends on the particular regulation and the jurisdiction, I would guess). In the case of the ADA, we must make "reasonable" accommodations where we can, but as a grandfathered business we are not required to be in full compliance, unless we make major renovations, in which case those renovations need to give consideration to the ADA. But again, there is a standard of reasonableness that applies.

Note that your insurance company may have as much or more to say about compliance with codes and regulations as the local government agencies. In our case, we had to upgrade some deck railings and electrical wiring to current code, not because we were required to by the regulators, but by our insurance company.

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There are many different types of lodging establishments, with a number of different types represented here on this forum.

For example, we offer stand-alone cottages that each include a complete kitchen of their own, so they are traditionally know as "housekeeping cottages" in our state (sometimes called "self-catering" in other parts of the world). So we don't do the food bit, nor are our guests actually staying with us in our house. Our cottages are of varying sizes and styles, ranging from a studio on the waterfront to a historic 5-bedroom farmhouse that dates back to ~1780.

As managers, we live in a separate house on the property (during the season; we are closed for the winter half of the year and only visit the property periodically then, living and working elsewhere). This house was built in 1870. We do have one room in our house that is the designated public office, but it can be isolated from the rest of the house (the tricky bit is that the entry door to our personal kitchen looks like the obvious entry to what people think is the office, even though it is clearly marked "private," so we need to work on better signage to direct people around to the other side of the house where the public office is located -- where the view is, which is why we have the public office there, because when people come around the house and see the view they say "oh wow!" and are totally hooked!

Attached to the main house is an addition built in 1970 containing an apartment which is where the owner stays when he and his wife come to stay. The apartment and our house are separated by an accordion door (in other words, not very much), but that's OK because we are all family.

We have a dog and a cat. The cat roams the property but generally stays out of the cottages (unless we are in one of them, in which case she wants to be in it too). The dog is very shy and spends most of his time upstairs in our house, although sometimes a guest has a friendly dog who wants our dog to come out to play, and that works out great.

For us right now, we haven't left the rat race yet -- we are juggling multiple jobs (geographically separated, too)! My primary job is a great job and it pays pretty well, but this here is a labor of love. At some point, our family circumstances may allow us to consider giving up my primary job, moving here full-time and dedicating ourselves fully to the businesses we have here (the cottages, weddings, boat rentals, pottery, and what ever else we can do to make ends meet, because the life here is great  but the pay not so much).

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Harborfields wrote:

There are many different types of lodging establishments, with a number of different types represented here on this forum.

For example, we offer stand-alone cottages that each include a complete kitchen of their own, so they are traditionally know as "housekeeping cottages" in our state (sometimes called "self-catering" in other parts of the world). So we don't do the food bit, nor are our guests actually staying with us in our house. Our cottages are of varying sizes and styles, ranging from a studio on the waterfront to a historic 5-bedroom farmhouse that dates back to ~1780.

As managers, we live in a separate house on the property (during the season; we are closed for the winter half of the year and only visit the property periodically then, living and working elsewhere). This house was built in 1870. We do have one room in our house that is the designated public office, but it can be isolated from the rest of the house (the tricky bit is that the entry door to our personal kitchen looks like the obvious entry to what people think is the office, even though it is clearly marked "private," so we need to work on better signage to direct people around to the other side of the house where the public office is located -- where the view is, which is why we have the public office there, because when people come around the house and see the view they say "oh wow!" and are totally hooked!

Attached to the main house is an addition built in 1970 containing an apartment which is where the owner stays when he and his wife come to stay. The apartment and our house are separated by an accordion door (in other words, not very much), but that's OK because we are all family.

We have a dog and a cat. The cat roams the property but generally stays out of the cottages (unless we are in one of them, in which case she wants to be in it too). The dog is very shy and spends most of his time upstairs in our house, although sometimes a guest has a friendly dog who wants our dog to come out to play, and that works out great.

For us right now, we haven't left the rat race yet -- we are juggling multiple jobs (geographically separated, too)! My primary job is a great job and it pays pretty well, but this here is a labor of love. At some point, our family circumstances may allow us to consider giving up my primary job, moving here full-time and dedicating ourselves fully to the businesses we have here (the cottages, weddings, boat rentals, pottery, and what ever else we can do to make ends meet, because the life here is great  but the pay not so much).

Welcome Mich.  We are also locate on the Lake Michigan side of Michigan's lower peninsula.  If you like being around people, you will love your new life.  We are USCoast Guard/banker ourselves. You trade money for quality of life.  Good luck to you. Keep us posted.

Harborfields, we seem to live parallel lives in many regards.  I constantly have people coming into my, often messy, kitchen, even though the door to the office is clearly marked. ugh. 

 

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It can vary by state and your insurance company so you'd have to check with them.  In our state, we can live onsite or off.  We have lived in the B&B for 10 years and I have so missed having my own home after having worked very hard my whole life to get into the position where I owned two prior to the B&B. We have now broken ground on a new home that sits on our property just about 100' from the existing B&B.  Our bedroom is becoming another guest room.  I would highly recommend if you are able to live in your own space attached to the B&B or just next to it in your own private home to make it happen.  Good luck if you move forward.

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I have a nice set up.  Four guests rooms and living room/breakfast area for guests. The kitchen has a door with a lock that I am able to close off from the rest of the house and through the kitchen is my personal living room, then bedroom, bathroom, laundry and storage…it also has a door the exits out the back of the house in the private back yard where I am able to have my dog.  The dog can come inside and go outside as he pleases.    I also have a cat who enjoys sleeping on the porch all day greeting guests.  You would be surprised how many people love the cat and enjoy petting him.   They love it if they get a rare glimpse of the dog too.  I even have guests writing about how wonderful the cat is in the guest books in the rooms.  I never thought they would love him as much as they do.  He is strictly an outdoor cat too!

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Welcome!

we have two four-legged munchkins and even though they are not allowed in the guest area( they are separated by a gate), you'd be surprised how many guests insist on meeting my felines. We are joined by the kitchen but have separate living quarters on the far side of the B&B. We 'aspire' to renovate a building just 30 feet away which will give us a better view than our guests!

We make it clear on our site that we have guests but that the aren't allowed in the public areas and so far, anyone who has told us that they're allergic has been fine. I go as far as keeping separate clothing do that I don't transfer black cat hair to my white bedding or anything else that the guests come in contact with. You'll be fine. 

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Around here, you MUST live on premises by law. We used to live in one of the rooms within the guest area, we disguised it simply by putting a room name on it. Now, we have our own quarters in the basement.

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We have the 2 rooms, bathroom, and what was supposed to be a sun room on one side of the first floor. Our area is private - to date, in 19 years only one guest has barged in to our side and he was following at the heels of Himself instead of waiting for him to return with whatever he was fetching. We do not have pets - we are too old to take care of them.

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You have to check your own state and local regulations. No one here can give you that answer. It all depends on your location.

Tom
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The shortest and most specific advice yet.  Talk to your authority having jurisdiction.

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Hi Mich, and welcome to the forum! You'll find that there are many different living arrangements for all of us. We're fortunate enough that our Owners Quarters is a separate small house on the property, but very close to the main house. 

Most insurance carriers and indeed, some states mandate that you must live onsite. A very important issue for innkeepers is being able to have privacy and to separate themselves from the guests. This is a very important issue when you're looking for a b&b. If you're living in the main structure, try to be sure that you have your own separate entrance and are able to block off your area (including the kitchen) from the guests. You should also be able to separate your pets from the guests and hopefully, but not always possible have a small outdoor area for a dog where guest interaction is minimized.

Again, welcome to the forum and hang around for some good advice!

 

 

 

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We have two cats who are not allowed in the inn section of the house.  Most guests love them.

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its not mandatory in the UK but you must have more extensive fire alarms etc - I would not however recommend it as its always weird things that have to be dealt with at 2am! plus I am also not keen on guests knowing you are not there as its always the unmanned properties round me that get the trouble ie they check your reviews before hand, know you are unmanned at night and try and sneek 10 friends in.

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thank you beach house!

 

my fiancee and i are in the early stages of trying to get into the B&B business.  i work in a factory and she works in banking.  we both hate the industries in which we work because our talents are wasted in these jobs and we dont enjoy the rat race lifestyle.  our personalities are not  meant to live and work in the corporate world.  we are looking to eventually open up a b&B in the lower peninsula of michigan where we can live as our own bosses and run our own company.  in no way do we think running a b &B will be easy but we know that we hate working in fast paced factory and banking.  we are looking to live comfortably and understand that we will in no way become rich doing this. we just want out of corporate america as much as we can be.  we were wondering about the living quarters since we have pets that i highly doubt guests will love as much as we do, so we want to keep them away from the actual b&B.  living offsite would not be ideal but we were wondering if it was even an option.

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MichDream2017 wrote:

  we were wondering about the living quarters since we have pets that i highly doubt guests will love as much as we do, so we want to keep them away from the actual b&B.  living offsite would not be ideal but we were wondering if it was even an option.

Missed the pet part before - we had a dog. The guests miss her as much as we do and keep asking when we're getting another one. Don't underestimate the allure of a dog or cat! We didn't limit the dog's range in the inn, she followed us everywhere except at breakfast. But never on her own. Always with us.

Except the day she got outside alone and then came in with the guests.

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MichDream2017 wrote:

my fiancee and i are in the early stages of trying to get into the B&B business.  i work in a factory and she works in banking.  we both hate the industries in which we work because our talents are wasted in these jobs and we dont enjoy the rat race lifestyle.  our personalities are not  meant to live and work in the corporate world.  we are looking to eventually open up a b&B in the lower peninsula of michigan where we can live as our own bosses and run our own company.  in no way do we think running a b &B will be easy but we know that we hate working in fast paced factory and banking.  we are looking to live comfortably and understand that we will in no way become rich doing this. we just want out of corporate america as much as we can be.  we were wondering about the living quarters since we have pets that i highly doubt guests will love as much as we do, so we want to keep them away from the actual b&B.  living offsite would not be ideal but we were wondering if it was even an option.

We were in the corporate, factory rat race, too. This is a helluva lot better.

Check the state & town ordinances in the area you are looking at for details on whether or not you have to live on premises. Then check with the insurance companies that cover B&B's to get their take. Then understand it might all change.

FWIW - we looked at a gorgeous property in western NY that had a separate house for the owners. In theory it's a great idea - you get your privacy and your own space. In practice, I'd be running out the door at 2 AM in my jammies in -30 degrees if a guest needed help in January. Think about that. My commute is entirely indoors and takes 8 seconds. No matter what the weather, I'm dry, cool, warm, whatever.

I will say you absolutely want your own kitchen whatever you decide. Think about a great steak dinner luring your guests to inn kitchen and you'll see why. (Or, a fish fry that lingers into breakfast!)

You'll be doing this job 24x7x365 and you both need your space to escape the guests and each other. Seriously. Sometimes you need your own time out corner. Having a single room in the middle of the inn does not cut it. You want to love this job, not hate it.

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Thanks for the added infor. It really helps to know how to share. 

I am sure you will be hearing the standard reply directing to look into this locally since every location is different. It does depend on zoning, commercial use, and all those things that are often controlled by a county, region, or state.

I do think there has been some discussion about on site off site, but more in line with how to.

Congratulations on knowing your one of the chosen few. We began our dream in 1999 and we are now in our 10th year of innkeeping. I can't imagine going back to working for someone else. I wasn't a great employee to start with and now I would be the worst. 

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This reminds me one time of a minister who told another interested in the trade, "do everything you can to avoid becoming a minister.  If it still is the thing to do, then consider it."  I think the point was, there are a lot of things the minister does besides just giving the sermon and shaking hands. From handling deaths to broken marriages and a ton of unexpected hours...

I do not think hating your jobs is a good reason to open a B&B.  From being on this forum, you cannot imagine the myriad of things that owners deal with.  And you may find yourself making a lot less money.

I owned a small construction company for a few years. Frankly, workers often make more money, more reliably than the owner.  Fulltime workers usually do their 50-60 hours a week.  Business owners often do 80-100 hours a week.  And they get to pay self-employment tax to boot.  And most businesses fail. 

For most people, I would say a reasonably paying job beats starting a business 6 ways to Sunday. If not, watch some episodes of "Tabitha takes over" (salons), "Restaurant Impossible", "Hotel Impossible" or other shows where someone comes in trying to fix a near failed business. The depth of emotions, financial problems and many other things is what you may find yourself in.

In other words, you have a good chance to go from the frying pan into the fire.

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UNDERSEA...why did you comment like this? You did not answer the question...but started on a rant...that most do not want to hear. 

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Because it is true, albeit not popular

happykeeper's picture
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Not and not not, I think indecision

Breakfast Diva's picture
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undersea wrote:

This reminds me one time of a minister who told another interested in the trade, "do everything you can to avoid becoming a minister.  If it still is the thing to do, then consider it."  I think the point was, there are a lot of things the minister does besides just giving the sermon and shaking hands. From handling deaths to broken marriages and a ton of unexpected hours...

I do not think hating your jobs is a good reason to open a B&B.  From being on this forum, you cannot imagine the myriad of things that owners deal with.  And you may find yourself making a lot less money.

I owned a small construction company for a few years. Frankly, workers often make more money, more reliably than the owner.  Fulltime workers usually do their 50-60 hours a week.  Business owners often do 80-100 hours a week.  And they get to pay self-employment tax to boot.  And most businesses fail. 

For most people, I would say a reasonably paying job beats starting a business 6 ways to Sunday. If not, watch some episodes of "Tabitha takes over" (salons), "Restaurant Impossible", "Hotel Impossible" or other shows where someone comes in trying to fix a near failed business. The depth of emotions, financial problems and many other things is what you may find yourself in.

In other words, you have a good chance to go from the frying pan into the fire.

PLEASE Undersea, when you respond to an aspiring or new forum member, indicate in your post that you yourself are an aspiring innkeeper. It's very important they know you are answering from the position of an aspiring.

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lots of people on here have pets and I am sure they will chime in. We have house rabbits which rarely interact with guests but the ones that do meet them love them. (they will do anything for food)

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Welcome!   Can you tell us about yourself? 

I have a 6 room b&b on Boston's North Shore.   We have a separate apartment with doors that lock, but it is attached to the house.  

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