Visitor Question

Liability if Injured While Working for Rent?

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

I may end up working for rent on a hotel property and blow snow over the winter. I would not receive any money for my work, just rent credit.

If I get hurt, who is responsible and what recourse do I have should I get hurt? What are my rights?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Anonymous,

If you are exchanging work for rent, the amount of the normal rent for your room is considered income to you. So says the Internal Revenue Service.

You should have filled out a W-2 IRS form when you made the agreement with the hotel. The owners of the property should also send you a 1099 at the end of the year.

If your agreement with the hotel does not include the above forms you are exposing yourself to possible tax problems.

If you are not being paid, and aren’t “on the books”, then you are probably not going to be covered under the hotel’s medical insurance either.

If you become injured on the job and the hotel decides not to pay for your medical bills, there is little you will be able to do. If you sue them you take a chance on exposing your legally precarious arrangement with the hotel.

Speak with the hotel management or the owner. Ask them to put you on their insurance. They may not agree because probably to be covered you must be a family member or an employee. Apparently you are neither.

It may be in your best interests to seek your own medical insurance in case you are injured and need medical care.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: September 3, 2011

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