Hospitality Services

Provisions for Hotels and Lodging Houses in Maharashtra and Gujarat

Hotels and Lodging Houses

Law: Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947

Hotel or lodging house” means a building or a part of a building where lodging with or without board or other service is by way of business provided for a monetary consideration; “manager of a hotel” includes any person in charge of the management of a hotel; “paying guest” means a person, not being a member of the family, who is given a part of the premises, in which the licensor resides, on licence;

32- Appointment of Controller

The State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint any person to be a Controller for any area for the purposes of this Part.

33- Fixation of fair rates percentage of accommodation and number of lodgers

(1) The Controller may fix a fair rate to be charged for board, lodging or other service provided in a hotel or lodging house at such amount as having regard to the circumstances of the case, he deems just. The Controller may also fix the percentage of accommodation for daily and monthly lodgers, respectively, in hotel or lodging houses.

(2) The Controller may fix a fair rate separately for –

(i) lodging with reference to the nature of the accommodation and the number of lodgers to be accommodated;

(ii) board, partial or full;

(iii) other service.

(3) The Controller may fix fair rates separately for daily and monthly lodgers.

(4) The Controler shall also fix the number of lodgers to be accommodated in each room or specified accommodation in the hotel or lodging house.

Explanation.- For the purposes of this Part, a lodger who agrees to reserve accommodation in a hotel or lodging house for a period of less than a month shall be deemed to be a daily lodger.

34- Revision of fair rates percentage of accommodation and number of lodgers

The Controller may, from time to time, revise the fair rates, [the percentage of accommodation] or the number of lodgers fixed under section 33.

35- Continuance of fair rates before coming into operation of this Part

Fair rates fixed under the Bombay Hotels and Lodging Houses Control Order, 1942, or the Bombay Rents, Hotel Rates and Lodging House Rates (Control) Act, 1944, and which were in force immediately before the coming into operation of this Part shall be deemed to have been fixed under this Part, and the provisions of this Part shall apply in respect of such rates.

36- Notice of fair rate, percentage of accommodation and number of lodgers to be displayed

Where under section 33 or section 34 the Controller has fixed or revised the fair rate, percentage of accommodation or the number of lodgers he shall direct the manager of the hotel or the owner of the lodging house, as the case may be, to display a notice of the fair rate percentage of accommodation, the number of lodgers and all the provisions of this Act, relating thereto in a conspicuous manner in the hotel or lodging house and also in the room or accommodation in respect of which the fair rate and the number of lodgers are fixed or revised.

37- Charges not recoverable in excess of fair rate

(1) Notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary, no manager of a hotel or owner of a lodging house shall charge any amount in excess of the fair rate.

(2) When the Controller has fixed the fair rate, any agreement for the payment of any charges in excess of such fair rate shall be void in respect of such excess and shall be constructed as if it were an agreement for payment of the said fair rate.

(3) Any sum paid by a lodger in excess of the fair rate shall be recoverable by him at any time within a period of six months from the date of payment from the manager of the hotel or the owner of the lodging house or his legal representative and may, without prejudice to any other remedy for recovery, be deducted by such lodger from any amount payable by him to such manager or owner.

38- No ejectment ordinarily to be made if fair rate paid

No manager of a hotel or owner of a lodging house shall evict of refuse board or other service to a lodger so long as he pays, or is ready and willing to pay, the fair rate and observes, and performs the other conditions of his agreement in so far as they are consistent with the provisions of this Act:

Provided that where under section 33 or section 34 the Controller has fixed or revised the percentage of accommodation for daily and monthly lodgers respectively, the manager of a hotel or owner of a lodging house may refuse accommodation to any daily or monthly lodger, as the case may be, if the accommodation in respect of such class of lodgers is fully occupied.

39- When manager of a hotel or owner of lodging house may recover possession. – Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, a manager of a hotel or owner of a lodging house shall be entitled to recover possession of the accommodation provided by him on obtaining a certificate from the Controller certifying that –

(a) the lodger has been guilty of conduct which is a nuisance or an annoyance to any adjoining or neighbouring lodger.

(b) the accommodation is reasonably and bona fide required by the owner of the hotel or lodging house, as the case may be, either for his own occupation or for the occupation of any person for whose benefit the accommodation is held or for any other cause which may be deemed satisfactory by the Controller.

(bb) the lodger is, habitually irregular or has made a default for three months in making payment of the charges for board, lodging or other service provided in the hotel or lodging house;

(c) the lodger has failed to vacate the accommodation on the termination of the period of the agreement in respect thereof:

Provided that before issuing a certificate under this clause the Controller shall take into consideration the vacancies, if any, in the accommodation for daily and monthly lodgers, the percentage of which has been fixed or revised under section 33 or section 34 and the circumstances under which the lodger did not vacate on the termination of the period of the agreement; or.

(d) the lodger has done any act which is inconsistent with the purpose for which the accommodation is provided to him or which is likely to affect adversely and substantially the owners interest therein.

40- Penalties

(1) If any manager of a hotel or owner of a lodging house either himself or through any person acting on purporting to act on his behalf or if any person acting or purporting to act on behalf of a manager of a hotel or owner of a lodging house received any fine, premium or other like sum or deposit or any consideration other than the fair rate, in respect of the grant or continuance of accommodation in the hotel or lodging house, such manager, owner or a person shall, on conviction, be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months and shall also be punished with fine, which shall not be less than the amount of the fine, premium or sum or deposit or the value of the consideration received by him.

(2) Any manager of a hotel or owner of a lodging house who charges any amount in excess of the fair rate in contravention of section 37 shall, on conviction, be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to three months or with fine or with both.

(3). Any manager of a hotel or owner of a lodging house who accommodates lodgers or permits lodgers to be accommodated in a room or specified accommodation in excess of the number fixed by the Controller shall, on conviction, be punishable with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees.

(4) Any manager of a hotel or owner of a lodging house who fails to display a notice in contravention of the Controller’s direction under section 36 shall, on conviction, be punishable with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees.

(5) Any manager of a hotel or owner of a lodging house, who evicts and lodger in contravention of the provisions of section 38 and without obtaining certificate, from the Controller under section 39, shall, on conviction, be punished with imprisonment of a term which may extend to three months, or with fine or with both.

Explanation.- For the purposes of sub-section (1) receipt of charges in advance for more than one month shall be deemed to be a fine or premium or consideration.

41- Provision relating to inquiries by Controller

(1) No order under this Act shall be made by the Controller except after holding an inquiry.

(2) Every such inquiry shall be made summarily in the prescribed manner.

(3) For the purposes of holding an inquiry under sub-section (1) the Controller shall have the same powers as are vested in Civil Courts in respect of –

(a) proof of facts by affidavits;

(b) summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath.

(c) compelling the production of documents; and

(d) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses.

(4) The Controller may himself enter or authorise any person subordinate to him to enter upon any premises, hotel or lodging house or any part thereof to which the inquiry relates.

42- Appeals

(1) On and after the date of commencement of the Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control (Amendment) Act, 1979, from an order passed by the Controller under the provisions of this Part (including an order granting or refusing a certificate under section 39), an appeal shall lie in Greater Bombay to the Chief Judge of the Court of Small Causes, Bombay, and elsewhere to the District Judge.

(2) Every such appeal shall be made within thirty days from the date of communication of the order passed by the Controller: Provided that, the appellate officer may entertain the appeal after the expiry of the said period of thirty days, if he is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal in time, but in no case the period shall exceed ninety days.

(3) (a) Every such appeal shall be heard and disposed of in Greater Bombay by the Chief Judge of the Court of Small Causes, Bombay or by any other Judge of that Court to whom the case or such cases are referred to under general or special orders of the said Chief Judge.

(b) Every appeal shall be heard and disposed of elsewhere by the District Judge or by any Judge not lower in rank than a Civil Judge (Senior Division) to whom the case or such cases are referred to under general or special orders of the District Judge.

43- Finality of orders

An order passed by the Controller under the provisions of this Part, subject to an appeal to the appellate officer, and the decision of the appellate officer on appeal, shall be final and conclusive and shall not be questioned in any suit or other proceedings before any Court or Tribunal or other authority.

43A- Execution of orders

Every order passed by the Controller in favour of a manager of a hotel or an owner of a lodging house and against a lodger for recovery of charges for, or possession of, the accommodation provided in the hotel or lodging house, and where an appeal is made against such order, the order passed on such appeal by the appellate officer, shall be executed

(a) in Greater Bombay, by the Court of Small Causes, Bombay: and

(b) elsewhere, by the Court of Civil Judge (Senior Division), in the same manner, as if it were a decree of that Court.

46A- Part III not to apply to hotels and lodging houses on approved list of Central Ministry of Tourism

(1) On and after the date of commencement of the Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control (Amendment) Act, 1979, this Part shall cease to apply, or shall not apply, to any hotel or lodging house, which is for the time being on the approved list of the Ministry of Tourism of the Central Government.
(2) For the removal of doubt, it is hereby.declared that whenever this Part ceases to apply to any hotel or lodging house and sub-section (1), the fair rates, nature of accommodation and number of lodgers (if any) fixed by the Controller in respect of such hotel or lodging house and in force immediately before the date from which this Part ceases to apply to it, shall continue to be in force, until altered, cancelled or amended by the Ministry of Tourism of the Central Government.