Passover- Bedikat Chametz When Leaving Home To Stay At A Hotel on Pesach
Today we discuss the Halacha about someone who is going to a hotel for Pesach. The question is whether or not he should make Bedikat Chametz in the hotel room. And if in fact he should, then what are the rules? Should a candle (or flashlight) be used, and should it be done with or without a Beracha?
According to the Halacha, a renter is as obligated in the laws of Bedikat Chametz as an owner. The Gemara discusses all different scenarios of a renter. When is the renter obligated, and when is the landlord obligated? Well, it depends on when the house was rented. If the house was rented on the fourteenth of Nissan, which is Erev Pesach, Halacha then says that the landlord is obligated to check because the house was being given over after the time of Bedika. But the Halacha also says that the tenant should ask the landlord if he indeed made Bedika. If the landlord is not a religious person then you have to assume that even if he gave the property over to you on the fourteenth, that he didn’t check it and therefore you have to check it again like the regular law.
Therefore if a person goes to a hotel and it’s owned by non-Jews or not religious people, and you take the hotel room on the fourteenth, you should assume that they didn’t check the room. Yes, they cleaned the room, but they didn’t clean the room for Chametz. They cleaned the room in order that it should look presentable for the customer that comes in. But you take on the status of a renter. So the Halacha for someone that will be in a hotel room that they are renting, if they arrive prior to the time of the Bedika, at that time he should take his flashlight out and go around the room and check for Chametz with a Beracha because he is considered a renter.
If someone arrives to a hotel room after the time of Bedika, which is already Erev Pesach, so he should make Bedikat Chametz, but in this case he does not make a Beracha.
So the Halacha, hotel rooms also need Bedikat Chametz with Beracha and a light. This is noted in the Book ‘Chag BeChag’ by Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Karp, a student of Rav Eliyasheev.