BOARDING-HOUSE, a private house in which the proprietor provides board and lodging for paying guests. The position of a guest in a boarding-house differs in English law, to some extent, on the one hand from that of a lodger in the ordinary sense of the term, and on the other from that of a guest in an inn. Unlike the lodger, he frequently has not the exclusive occupation of particular rooms. Unlike the guest in an inn, his landlord has no lien upon his property for rent or any other debt due in respect of his board (Thompson v. Lacy, 1820, 3 B. and Ald. 283). The landlord is under an obligation to take reasonable care for the safety of property brought by a guest into his house, and is liable for damages in case of breach of this obligation (Scarborough v. Cosgrove, 1905, 2 K.B. 803). Again, unlike the innkeeper, a boarding-house keeper does not hold himself out as ready to receive all travellers for whom he has accommodation, for which they are ready to pay, and of course he is entitled to get rid of any guest on giving reasonable notice (see Lamond v. Richard, 1897, 1 Q.B. 541, 548). What is reasonable notice depends on the terms of the contract; and, subject thereto, the course of payment of rent is a material circumstance (see Landlord and Tenant). Apparently the same implied warranty of fitness for habitation at the commencement of the tenancy which exists in the case of furnished lodgings (see Lodger and Lodgings) exists also in the case of boarding-houses; and the guest in a boarding-house, like a lodger, is entitled to all the usual and necessary conveniences of a dwelling-house.
The law of the United States is similar to English law.
Under the French Code Civil, claims for subsistence furnished to a debtor and his family during the last year of his life by boarding-house keepers (maîtres de pension) are privileged over the generality of moveables, the privilege being exerciseable after legal expenses, funeral expenses, the expenses of the last illness, and the wages of servants for the year elapsed and what is due for the current year (art. 2101 (5)). Keepers of taverns (aubergistes) and hotels (hôteliers) are responsible for the goods of their guests—the committal of which to their custody is regarded as a deposit of necessity (dépôt nécessaire). They are liable for the loss of such goods by theft, whether by servants or strangers, but not where the loss is due to force majeure (arts. 1952–1954). Their liability for money and bearer securities not actually deposited is limited to 1000 francs (law of 18th of April 1889). These provisions are reproduced in substance in the Civil Codes of Quebec (arts. 1814, 1815, 1994, 2006) and of St Lucia (art. 1889). In Quebec, boarding-house keepers have a lien on the goods of their guests for the value or price of any food or accommodation furnished to them, and have also a right to sell their baggage and other property, if the amount remains unpaid for three months, under conditions similar to those imposed on innkeepers in England (art. 1816 A; and see Inns and Innkeepers); also in the Civil Code of St Lucia (arts. 1578, 1714, 1715). (A. W. R.)