A Lynn hotelier is locked in a dispute with Norfolk County Council over £419.
Charles Douglas says he is out of pocket after being forced to change the master lock at the Tudor Rose Hotel following a county council booking.
The children services department booked two adults and a child into a room at the St Nicholas Street hotel for five nights starting on October 23.
But Mr Douglas says during this week the adults had passed the key and the room onto another person and the key was never returned. There has been no damage to the room.
He took the decision to change the lock in early November after attempts to recover the key had failed and says the adults have refused to pay for the lock change.
Since then Mr Douglas has been in contact with the council asking for the return of the £209.69 for the lock change, £10 for a key fob and £200 compensation for not being able to let the room for five nights.
Mr Douglas said: “When they book rooms the should take responsibility for the people they book the rooms for. These people are on the floor so will have very little of their possessions anyway.”
A council spokesman said: “We made a booking with the Tudor Rose Hotel on behalf of a family that needed accommodation and unfortunately the key has not been returned to the hotel.
“We have liaised with those involved to try to get the key returned and believe that the family that stayed there has offered to pay for a like-for-like replacement.
“We feel we have done all we can to try to help in this case, including putting the two parties in contact to try to reach a resolution.”