Landlord’s Right To Enter

Q. Can a landlord or manager enter a tenant’s rental unit?
A.
In cases of emergency or tenant abandonment or surrender, a landlord or manager may enter a rental unit without notice. Otherwise, a landlord may enter a unit only after giving reasonable written notice for a valid reason.  A valid reason would be to make a needed or agreed upon repair or alteration; to show the unit to prospective buyers, tenants, contractors, lenders or repair workers; to provide agreed upon services; to conduct an inspection related to a tenant’s security deposit, prior to their move-out; or pursuant to a court order.  A landlord may NOT enter a rental unit simply to inspect, even if the rental agreement allows for it.

    Noticed entry should be during normal business hours, unless the tenant consents.  The right of entry shall not be abused by the landlord or used to harass a tenant.  Reasonable notice has been deemed by the courts to be 24-hour notice.  The notice should be personally delivered, left with someone at the premises of suitable age and discretion, or left at, near or under the usual entry door where it is likely to be discovered.  It can be mailed, but the landlord should allow 6 days between mailing and entry. There is an exception that allows oral notice of entry during the sale of a property provided certain procedures are followed.

Civil Code Section 1954; Landlord’s Right To Enter and Tenant’s Right To Privacy

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