When the plaintiff and her family rented the defendants’ vacation home for their weeklong stay at Virginia Beach, the defendants owed her only the duty that a landlord owes its tenant, not the duty an innkeeper owes its guest. The circuit court didn’t err in holding otherwise.
An innkeeper’s continued presence on and control over the property during guests’ occupation justifies an elevated duty of care. But here, the defendants used the rental home as a second house their family used during certain times of the year, available for rent only during the other times. Furthermore, the defendants didn’t make the rental home available to the general public and weren’t even permitted to enter without prior notification to their realtor.