Ordinance Nos,
19 of 1916
61 of 1939
3 of 1946
[29th July
, 1916
Short title.

1. This Ordinance may be cited as the Hotel-Keepers Liability Ordinance.

Hotel-keeper not to be liable for loss, &c, beyond seven hundred and fifty rupees, except in certain cases.

2. No hotel-keeper shall, after the passing of this Ordinance, be liable to make good to any guest of such hotel-keeper any loss or injury to goods brought to his hotel to a greater amount than the sum of seven hundred and fifty rupees, except in the following cases, that is to say : –

(a) where such goods shall have been stolen, lost, or injured through the act, default, or neglect of such hotel-keeper, or any servant in his employ ;

(b) where such goods shall have been deposited expressly for safe custody with such hotel-keeper or his manager:

Provided that in the case of such deposit, it shall be lawful for such hotel-keeper or his manager aforesaid, if he thinks fit, to require as a condition of his liability that such goods shall, where the nature of them reasonably so permits, be deposited in a box or other receptacle fastened and sealed by the person depositing the same ;

Provided also that the above liability shall, in the case of such hotels as provide no sleeping accommodation and such resthouses as are in charge of a paid servant of an Urban Council or a Pradeshiya Sabha, not extend to more than two hundred and fifty rupees.

Obligation to receive property of guests for safe custody.

3. If any hotel-keeper or his manager shall refuse to receive for safe custody, as before mentioned, any goods of his guest, or if any such guest shall, through any default of such hotel-keeper or manager, be unable to deposit such goods as aforesaid, such hotel-keeper shall not be entitled to the benefit of this Ordinance in respect of such goods.

Notice of law, &c, to be exhibited.

4. Every hotel-keeper shall cause at least one copy of this Ordinance, printed in plain type in the Sinhala, Tamil, and English languages, to be exhibited in a conspicuous part of the hall or entrance to his hotel, and he shall be entitled to the benefit of this Ordinance in respect of such goods only as shall be brought to his hotel while such copy shall be so exhibited.


5. For the purpose of this Ordinance the word ” hotel” shall mean any hotel, inn, tavern, public house, resthouse, restaurant, eating house, or other place of refreshment the keeper of which is now by law responsible for the goods of his guest; the words ” hotel-keeper ” shall mean the keeper of such a place who is responsible as aforesaid ; the word ” manager” shall mean the agent or servant of the hotel-keeper for the time being in charge of the hotel or any person duly appointed by the hotel-keeper to receive the goods of his guests for safe custody as aforesaid ; and the word ” goods” shall mean goods and property of every description, including a horse or other live animal and any gear appertaining thereto, and any carriage, cart, bicycle, rickshaw, motor car, motor bicycle, or other vehicle.

Saving clause.

6. Nothing in this Ordinance contained shall be deemed to extend the liabilities to which an hotel- keeper is now by law subject or to affect the same otherwise than as herein before provided.

Chapter 74, Volume No.3 Page No.190