Can a hotel still charge us a cancellation fee if they changed the rates that we signed and agreed to?

UPDATED: Jun 19, 2011

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Can a hotel still charge us a cancellation fee if they changed the rates that we signed and agreed to?

Last Sunday we made reservations for bike week next year in Lake George, NY. I signed an agreement for $750 for 4 nights. They have just sent another confirmation jacking the rates up by an additional $206 for the 4 nights. I want to cancel as they have changed our contract without our consent, however they still want to charge me a $100 cancellation fee. Can they do this?

Asked on June 19, 2011 under General Practice, Connecticut


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you had an agreement with the hotel, you need to look to the terms of that agreement. If it was a firm agreement for a certain rate, the hotel would need to honor it, though if it had some term or condition that would allow it to raise the rates, they may raise the rates in accordance with that term.

If they violated the agreement by trying to charge you more than you were firmly obligated to pay, then you would seem to have good grounds to cancel the agreement without penalty or fee, due to their breach. If they had the right to change the rates, however, then you may only cancel if and in accordance with any terms in the agreement allowing for cancellation--including the payment of any prescribed fee. So again, the answer should be found in the agreement you signed.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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