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§ 1 General
The (general) Austrian Hotel Contract Conditions (ÖHVB) state the contractual conditions according to which Austrian accommodation providers generally conclude accommodation contracts with their guests.
The Austrian Hotel Contract Conditions do not exclude special agreements.
§ 2 Contract Partners
(1) In cases of doubt, the contract partner of the accommodation provider is the ordering party, even if they placed, or jointly placed, the order for other specifically named persons.
(2) The persons availing themselves of the accommodation are guests in accordance with the contract conditions.
§ 3 Conclusion of Contract, Deposit
(1) The accommodation contract is generally formed through the acceptance of the guest's written or verbal order by the accommodation provider.
(2) It may be agreed that the guest pays a deposit.
(3) The accommodation provider can also request the advance payment of the entire agreed payment amount.
§ 4 Start and End of the Accommodation
(1) The guest has the right to occupy the rented rooms from 14:00 on the agreed date.
(2) If the guest fails to arrive by 18:00 on the agreed date of arrival, the accommodation provider has the right to withdraw from the contract unless a later time of arrival has been agreed upon.
(3) If the guest has paid a deposit though the room (rooms) remain(s) reserved until 12:00 the next day at the latest.
(4) If a room is occupied for the first time before 6:00, the preceding night shall be deemed the first night of accommodation.
(5) The rented rooms must be vacated by the guest by 12:00 on the day of departure.
§ 5 Withdrawal from the Accommodation Contract
(1) Up to three months before the guest's agreed day of arrival, the accommodation contract can be cancelled by either party by means of a unilateral declaration of cancellation without any cancellation fees being charged.
The written letter of cancellation has to reach the other contractual party by 3 months before the guest's agreed day of arrival at the latest.
(2) Up to one month before the guest's agreed day of arrival, the accommodation contract can be cancelled by either party by means of a unilateral declaration of cancellation, however a cancellation fee must be paid to the amount of the room rate for three days.
The written letter of cancellation has to reach the other contractual party by one month before the guest's agreed day of arrival at the latest.
(3) If the guest fails to arrive by 18:00 on the agreed date of arrival, the accommodation provider has the right to withdraw from the contract unless a later time of arrival has been agreed upon.
(4) If the guest has paid a deposit though the room (rooms) remain(s) reserved until 12:00 the next day at the latest.
(5) Even if the guest does not make use of the ordered rooms/guest house services, they are under the obligation to pay the accommodation provider the agreed payment amount. However, the accommodation provider must deduct any savings resulting from the guest's non-use of services, or which they may have potentially received from subsequently renting out the ordered rooms. As experience shows, in most cases the amounts saved by the establishment by not rendering the services stipulated generally cover 20% of the room rate and 30% of the catering charges.
(6) The accommodation provider is, nevertheless, obliged to take all appropriate steps to ensure that the rooms left vacant by the cancellation are rented to other guests (§ 1107 ABGB).
The cancellation conditions listed in Clauses 1, 2 and 5 are non-binding association recommendations in accordance with §§ 31 ff of the Cartel Law, announced in 26 Kt 79/03 in the OLG (Higher Regional Court) in Vienna acting as the Cartel Court.
§ 6 Provision of Substitute Accommodation
(1) The accommodation provider can provide the guest with substitute accommodation, if this is reasonable to the guest, especially if the difference is insignificant and justified.
(2) A factual justification is e.g., if a room has (the rooms have) become unusable, guests who already moved in extend their stay or other important measures of the establishment cause this step.
(3) Any added expense for substitute accommodation is at the accommodation provider's expense.
§ 7 Rights of the Guest
(1) By concluding the accommodation contract the guest acquires the right to the normal use of the rented rooms, the accommodation establishment's facilities which are usually accessible for use by guests without any special terms and conditions and to the usual service.
(2) The guest has the right to occupy the rented rooms from 14:00 on the agreed date.
(3) If full-board or half-board is agreed then the guest has the right to demand a suitable substitute meal (packed lunch) or voucher for meals that they do not claim if this is announced in good time, that is by 18:00 the previous day.
(4) Otherwise the guest has no claim to compensation for the services offered by the accommodation provider if they do not take the agreed meals at the usual times of day or in the rooms provided for this.
§ 8 Obligations of the Guest
(1) At the end of the accommodation contract the agreed fee has to be paid. Foreign currencies are accepted for payment at the daily exchange rate if possible.
The accommodation provider is obligated to accept cashless methods of payment such as cheques, credit cards, coupons, vouchers etc.
Any costs necessary with the acceptance of these securities, for example telegrams, credit checks etc. are at the guest's expense.
(2) If food or drinks are available at the accommodation establishment but are brought by the guest to the hotel and consumed in public rooms then the accommodation provider is entitled to charge an adequate compensation (so-called "corking fee" with drinks).
(3) Before using any electronic devices that are brought by the guests and do not constitute usual travel needs, the accommodation provider's agreement must be obtained.
(4) For damages caused by the guest, the provisions of tort law shall apply. As a result the guest is liable for any damage and disadvantages suffered by the accommodation provider or third parties due to their fault or fault of their companion or other persons for whom they are responsible and even when the injured party is entitled to claim compensation directly from the accommodation provider.
§ 9 Rights of the Accommodation Provider
(1) If the guest refuses to pay or is in arrears with the agreed remuneration, the proprietor of the accommodation estab-lishment shall be entitled to make use of the right to withhold the guest's belongings as security for the debt ensuing from the accommodation and outlays on behalf of the guest. (§ 970 c ABGB statutory right of retention.)
(2) The accommodation provider has the lien on the guest's items as insurance for the agreed payment amount. (§ 1101 ABGB accommodation provider's legal right of lien.)
(3) If the guest orders room service or service at exceptional times, the accommodation provider is entitled to demand an extra charge; this separate charge must be displayed on the room rates list though. The accommodation provider can also refuse these services for business reasons.
§ 10 Obligations of the Accommodation Provider
(1) The accommodation provider is obligated to provide the agreed services to an appropriate standard and extent.
(2) Special services of the accommodation provider subject to price labelling that are not included in the accommodation remuneration:
a) Extra accommodation services that may be invoiced separately, such as the provision of lounges, sauna, indoor and/or outdoor swimming pool, solarium, bathrooms on each floor, garages etc.
b) A discounted rate is charged for the provision of additional or children's beds.
(3) The rates listed must be inclusive rates.
§ 11 Liability of the Accommodation Provider for Damage
(1) The accommodation provider is liable for damages that a guest suffers, if the damage happened within the estab-lishment and the accommodation provider or their staff caused the damage.
(2) Liability for the guest's items. In addition to this, the accommodation provider is liable, as the custodian of the objects handed-in by the checked-in guests, for a maximum amount of EUR 1,100, if they cannot prove that the damage was not caused by them or one of their employees nor by strangers entering and leaving the building.
Under these circumstances the accommodation provider is liable for valuables, money and securities up to a maximum amount of EUR 550, unless they had taken these things with the knowledge of their condition into their safekeeping or unless the damages were caused by themselves or one of their employees which would result in their unlimited liability. Rejection of liability by putting up a notice is legally ineffective.
The custody of valuables, money and securities can be refused, if they are substantially more valuable objects than the guests normally hand in for custody to the accommodation provider concerned. Agreements which lead to a reduction of liability to a lesser extent than stated in the paragraphs above are legally ineffective. Objects are deemed to have been handed-in once they have been accepted by one of the service personnel of the accommodation establishment or if they have been handed in at one of the pre-determined places for this purpose. (Specifically §§ 970 ff. ABGB)
§ 12 Keeping of Pets
(1) Pets are only allowed into the accommodation establishment with prior authorisation and in some cases a special payment is charged.
Pets are not allowed in the lounges, the public areas or the restaurant areas.
(2) The guest is liable for damages caused by any animals brought onto the premises, in accordance with the legally applicable regulations for pet owners (§ 1320 ABGB).
§ 13 Extension of the Accommodation
An extension of the guest's stay requires the consent of the accommodation provider.
§ 14 Termination of the Accommodation
(1) If the accommodation contract was agreed for a specific time it ends when this time has expired. If the guest departs early then the accommodation provider is entitled to demand the full payment amount.
The accommodation provider is, nevertheless, obliged to take all appropriate steps to ensure that the rooms left vacant by the cancellation are rented to other guests.
In addition, the regulation in § 5 (5) (discount percentages) applies accordingly.
(2) The death of a guest causes the termination of the contract with the accommodation provider.
(3) If the accommodation contract was agreed for a non-specific time the contract partners can cancel the contract at any time provided that they adhere to a cancellation period of three days. The cancellation must reach the contract partner by 10:00 otherwise it is not this day that is considered to be the first day of the cancellation period, but the next day.
(4) If the guest does not vacate their room by 12:00, the accommodation provider is entitled to charge them the room rate for another day.
(5) The accommodation provider is entitled to cancel the accommodation contract with immediate effect, if the guest:
a) makes a considerable detrimental use of the premises or, through their inconsiderate, objectionable or otherwise inappropriate uncouth behaviour, spoils the collective living experience of the other guests or is guilty of punishable threatening behaviour against the property, morality or physical security of the accommodation provider, their staff or one of the persons staying in the accommodation establishment;
b) is overcome by either a contagious disease or one which exceeds the accommodation duration or is in need of medical care;
c) does not pay the submitted invoice after a demand within a reasonably set time period.
(6) If the fulfilment of the contract becomes impossible due to an event assessed as force majeure the contract is termi-nated.
The accommodation provider is, however, under the obligation to return the payments received so that they do not make any profit out of the event. (§ 1447 ABGB.)
§ 15 Illness or Death of a Guest in the Accommodation
(1) If a guest becomes ill during their stay in the accommodation establishment the accommodation provider has the obligation to procure medical assistance and care, if this is necessary and if the guest themselves is not in a position to do so.
The accommodation provider is entitled to the following cost compensation from the legal successor of the guest in the case of death:
a) Payment of all medical expenses not settled by the guest;
b) Payment for any necessary room disinfecting, if this is ordered by the public health officer;
c) Possible compensation for any linen, bed linen and bed fixtures and fittings that have become unusable, in return for the hand-over of these objects to the legal successor, otherwise for the disinfecting or thorough cleaning of all these objects;
d) Payment for any restoration of walls, fixtures and fittings, carpets etc. if these were contaminated or damaged by the illness or fatality;
e) Compensation for the room rent, if it is not forthcoming due to the temporary unusability of the room caused by the illness or the fatality (minimum three days, maximum seven days).
§ 16 Place of Fulfilment and Court of Jurisdiction
(1) The place of fulfilment is the location where the accommodation is situated.
(2) All disputes arising from the accommodation contract are to be agreed by the professional and responsible court which is local to the accommodation establishment, unless
a) The guest has, as a consumer, a domestically located place of employment or residence. In this case the court of juris-diction will be agreed as that location as disclosed by the guest on their registration;
b) The guest, as a consumer, only has one domestic employment location. In this case this will be agreed as the court of jurisdiction.