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The accommodation contract

 The non-utilization or cancellation of reserved hotel rooms

With good reason, a special, marked by hospitality relationship between the guest and the host can be expected in the hospitality industry. Finally, the hospitality is crucial part of any gastronomic performance. But again and again this relationship is marred by litigation. In oblivion often gets that the provisions in force in all areas of business rules without restriction on the hospitality industry application. Probably for this reason, there is a commonly held opinion, the reservation of a hotel room is a kind of non-binding preliminary inquiry ", although undertake the hotelier, but could be reversed without sanction from the guest at all times.
To meet the existing need for information on this issue and to dispel any misconceptions that is below a short, non-binding overview on the issue of non-utilization or cancellation given to reserved hotel rooms

1. The contract for accommodation

The accommodation contract is a mixed contract with typical basic elements of the tenancy and at least one other type of contract, such as the purchase or service contract. The contract is concluded by two matching - concluded declarations of intent, by offer and acceptance - oral or written. Here is the explanation to want to reserve a room, not to be understood as a request to the hotelier to make an offer on its own. Rather, the explanation is itself already an offer to conclude an accommodation contract. Once the reservation is accepted by the accommodation facility, there is a binding contract for accommodation. This applies even in the case where the parties have not yet taken immediately on all essential parts of the contract agreement. Because the contractual agreement does not fail because the parties in a recognizable desire to contract individual contract items to determine later or leave the determination to the contractor.
The main content of the Accommodation Agreement shall be governed by § 535 BGB. After that the hotel has to provide the agreed hotel room during the rental period available. The guest, however, is obliged to pay the agreed price.
The accommodation contract is not otherwise to be treated as any other contract in civil law. Unless otherwise agreed in the contract or these terms and conditions (GTC), the Accommodation Agreement be solved by any contracting party unilaterally. Completely independent of time or for reasons of cancellation is no right to cancellation "of a booking. Ordered and held at the hotel Hotel Rooms must be paid according to § 535 sentence 2 BGB. This is true even if the hotel room lying out in the sphere of the guest reasons will not use them.
By the guest, despite not taking payable payment is often performed under the name "cancellation fee". Is determined by contract or Terms of nothing else, it is in the "cancellation fee" not a penalty for the cancellation of a hotel room. The "penalty" rather puts the contractually agreed compensation (room rate) less the saved site expenses.


Not incurred operating costs - such as for entertainment or provision of linen - the hotelier has to set off 2 BGB demanding reducing pursuant to § 552 sentence. The amount of this imputed savings depends on the specific circumstances of each case. From the jurisdiction of the value of the expenses saved is

at night / breakfast with flat rate of 20%

regularly considered appropriate by the overnight rate. The parties to the accommodation contract, it is free to prove higher or lower savings.
Moreover, the hotelier must be credited the benefits he gained from alternative rental of the room.
A general commitment to look at the lack of use of the hotel room a replacement tenant, however, does not exist. However, the hotelier must not in bad faith close to the inclusion of other guests.

2. The allocation contract

The situation is similar for the case of the so-called quota Hotel Treaty must be assessed. This also legally not explicitly regulated contract type was developed by the practice to be primarily the needs of the travel and meetings needs. For here the break or conference must surely tory agreements even before knowing the number of participants and therefore the number of beds required to be made.
The allocation contract grants the Promoter regularly a time, while he "can cancel reserved room free of charge. After this period, the previously quota rooms according to previous arrangement be considered either as firm bookings or earmarked for the completion of a corresponding number of accommodation contracts. Cancellation the firmly booked reservation or a return of the binding earmarked rooms quotas will be subject to conditions laid down by allocation contract agreements. Usually one shown in percentages of the rate and based on document date graduation is provided.
If the allocation contract do not provide for explicit cancellation agreement or the date agreed upon free cancellation exceeded, the right figure is as a last resort in many cases withdrawal right by virtue of commercial usage endeavors. "Even a usage which allowed the sanctions-free withdrawal from the accommodation contract at a specified time prior to arrival, but so far could not disputed not be identified.

RA Oliver Thelen

Hotel Café Meynen · Inh. Bäcker- & Konditormeister Werner Meynen
Bahnhofstraße 10
· D-31848 Bad Münder · Tel.: ++49 50 42 / 33 28 · Fax.: ++49 50 42 / 74 12 · E-Mail: