I recall reading (a long time ago) that if you are checked into a hotel and need to stay past the reservation date, they are not permitted to throw you out.

I ask because I was about to make a Thursday - Sunday reservation and see that Saturday night is blocked out. I'd like to know if I check in Thursday, but try to stay past Saturday checkout, if the rules for hotels allow me to stay. This is a US question, and of course, I'm paying for the room.

Update - The North Carolina law states -

A written statement setting forth the time period during which a guest may occupy an assigned room, signed or initialed by the guest, shall be deemed a valid contract, and at the expiration of such time period the lodger may be restrained from entering and any property of the guest may be removed by the innkeeper without liability, except for damages to or loss of such property attributable to its removal.

So, yes, it's by state, and no, I can't stay. Will book hotel a few blocks away.

  • 5
    Even if you do have some right to stay on, I doubt there'd be anything to stop them from changing the price for the extra nights. You know that insanely high rate that's posted on the little card on the inside of the door of the room? Are you prepared to pay that much? Commented Aug 29, 2015 at 15:40
  • 16
    Such rumors are often based on misunderstandings of laws that regulate when and how landlords can evict tenants from their rented homes. Those laws generally don't apply to temporary accommodation such as hotel rooms, though this may not be apparent from isolated quotes from the laws -- one may have to crossreference with definitions and scope clauses elsewhere in the laws in order to deduce that. Commented Aug 29, 2015 at 16:56
  • 2
    Why don't you walk down to the reception (or even just call them) and ask how much it would be to extend your stay? Maybe they can do something for you. The information on the website might not be accurate, particularly as the maximum number of bookings ≠ total number of rooms.
    – Calchas
    Commented Aug 29, 2015 at 21:37
  • 8
    How would you feel if, when you went to check in on Thursday, it turned out there was no room available because another guest had stayed past the end of their reservation? Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 5:59
  • 1
    @PatriciaShanahan - Airlines and hotels routinely overbook. I am 50+ and had a job that had me traveling 3-4 times a year. Not a lot for many people, but enough that I experienced being bumped from both. When I was bumped from the hotels, which I thought was simply overbooked, I got a better hotel, better room, and the same price was given to me as my reserved hotel. So, honestly, I felt pretty good. To Nate's comment, the guest who overstayed his welcome was probably charged a higher rate, so he was paying for my better hotel/room higher cost. Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 11:52

2 Answers 2


The answer will vary from state to state but states do have laws regarding guest eviction and quite a few of them have rules for evicting guests for overstaying, e.g. Washington:

If a guest fails to leave when he is not entitled to remain at the hotel, then the guest is in violation of this statute (RCW 9A.52.070). The police are required to enforce this law and remove the guest. The law is an important tool and should be part of your discussion with local law enforcement before any incident actually occurs.

So the issue will need to be addressed state by state as it is not a federal matter. Now as far as whether or not the hotel will choose to apply this rule is up to the hotel but if it's booked solid they are more likely to do it.


They can ask you to leave, and have the right to enforce it, as you are overstaying your agreement with them. It is however completely at their discretion. Because hotel cancellations are frequent though, there may be a room available by the time your arrive or before your scheduled departure date. The best is to ask politely the reception every evening until you get a yes.

Usually rooms are held for reservations until a certain time, say 10 PM for example, so if you get to know what the time is, ask just after since this is when there is the most likely for a room to become available. Some rooms are usually held by consolidators who book blocks of room to rent out for a profit, those not rented simply become available when the reserved day arrives.

Some hotels will let you extend your stay even if no room is available. They may move you to another type of room or move the displaced guest elsewhere, possibly to another hotel. This has happened to me once when I had a reservation, already paid in full, and the hotel had let guests overstay. They booked me a room in another similar category hotel a few blocks away, paid my taxi there and gave me a voucher for a rather expensive meal at a nearby restaurant. They also got the other hotel to give me free WiFi.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .