Can You Live In A Hotel? Here’s The Truth

If you’re suddenly experiencing a change that requires you to move out of your current home or transition into a new way of living, you may be considering your housing options. It may be a surprise that your choices could include moving into a hotel!

It’s possible to live in a hotel. However, due to a hotel’s guest policies or your state’s landlord-tenant laws, you may only be able to live there for a specific duration. If you’re unsure about moving in, call the hotel’s front desk to ask about their long-term stay policy.

The rest of this article will give additional details on a few topics, including if living in a hotel classifies you as homeless, if hotel living is cheaper than renting, and if 17-year-olds can stay in hotels on their own.

Can You Live in a Hotel?

Why would you want to? Well, personally I would happily live at any of the Walt Disney World hotels as I love being at the parks! This was actually a dream of mine when I was a little younger!

You can live in a hotel. However, the hotel may restrict the duration of your stay. Many traditional hotels allow guests to stay long-term. Hotels made for long-term stays, such as extended-stay hotels, may offer longer stay options than conventional hotels.

Have you ever heard of an extended-stay hotel? These hotels are intended for long-term or permanent-stay guests and have specific accommodations such as package rooms, full gyms, and reduced weekly pricing to meet their guests’ needs.

Extended-stay hotel rooms are also often built like studio apartments. These rooms often include functional kitchenettes, additional storage, and convenient desk and lounge spaces where guests can comfortably complete any remote work.

Is There a Limit to How Long You Can Stay in a Hotel?

There is no legal limit to how long you can stay in a hotel, but independent hotels or hospitality chains may have policies that state how long they allow a guest to stay on their property. Landlord-tenant laws may also limit how long guests can stay in hotels.

In certain areas throughout the United States, a guest who lives in a space for a set duration may legally become a tenant and gain additional rights. These rights can restrict the hotel from kicking someone out without going through a formal eviction process. Check your state’s landlord-tenant laws and hotel guest policies before you decide to stay in your room long-term!

Is Living in a Hotel Considered Homeless?

If you suddenly find yourself without a house like Mickey Mouse, you may wonder if you should consider yourself homeless. 

If you are living in a hotel, you likely do not fit the definition of homeless. People are considered homeless when they have no nighttime housing, rely on a shelter, or are otherwise living in a place not intended for humans. Renting a hotel room excludes you from this criteria.

According to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, homelessness has several layers and definitions. However, these definitions primarily include being unsheltered without suitable living conditions or fleeing domestic violence. 

Disney’s Riviera Resort Hotel 2022

Is Living in a Hotel Cheaper Than Renting?

With rent and living costs constantly increasing, you may wonder if living in a hotel would be cheaper than signing a lease or mortgage. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, housing prices have increased by 17% between 2021 and 2022 and over 4% between Q1 and Q2 of 2022! It’s no wonder people are looking for alternative permanent housing options.

Hotel living is not necessarily cheaper than renting. Living in a hotel long-term and renting can both be expensive if you choose to live in locations with higher living costs. Compare hotel room prices to local rent options before making a permanent housing decision.

Your cost of living in a city like Los Angeles or New York will be significantly higher than in Des Moines or Milwaukee. If you are looking for a cheap living option, gather the prices of all your potential housing options and compare them to your budget and income before making a final decision.

Although hotels can be expensive if you stay for a few nights here and there, some hotels will give you a larger discount for the longer you visit. If you decide to move into a traditional hotel, you can always call the front desk before making your reservation to ask if they offer any discounts for long-term guests.

Additionally, some extended stay hotels, such as Extended Stay America, will give you the following discounts: 

  • 20% for staying with them for more than seven nights
  • 30% for more than 14 nights
  • 45% for more than 30 nights

It pays off to stay in the same location. On top of these cost reductions, hotel reward programs may give you free additional perks or member rates.

Can a 17-Year-Old Stay in a Hotel Alone?

A hotel will likely not allow a 17-year-old to stay in a room alone because most hotel policies require their guests to be 18 years of age or older. However, there are a handful of circumstances where a minor may be allowed to stay alone, so be sure to call the hotel to ask for their policy.

Some instances where a 17-year-old may be allowed to reserve a room on their own are as follows:

  • If emancipated, their state will recognize them as legal adults. However, a hotel may still consider them to be a minor. 
  • Suppose they have graduated from high school and are booking a hotel in a state where the “age of majority” includes anyone who graduated high school. If a hotel’s policy allows anyone of the “age of majority” to book a hotel room, a 17-year-old may be able to stay under this condition.
  • If the state they’re booking the hotel in does not have any law regarding renting rooms to minors, the 17-year-old may be able to stay at the hotel on their own.
  • If the minor has parental permission or has an adult book the room, they may be able to stay on-site independently.

With all of these circumstances, be sure to call the hotel or check its policies online before reserving to reduce your likelihood of being turned away when you arrive for your stay.

Final Thoughts

You can live in a hotel! Some companies, such as extended-stay hotels, even encourage you to stay long-term and reduce the cost of your room the longer you reside as their guest.

Identify all your housing options and run your long-term stay plans by the hotel before moving in to ensure you can stay as long as you need.