WHEN CAN THE LANDLORD ENTER MY UNIT?

California law states that a landlord can enter a rental unit only for the following reasons

  1. To respond to an emergency.
  2. The tenant has moved out or has abandoned the rental unit.
  3. The tenant is present and consents to the entry at the time of entry.
  4. To show the rental uni to prospective tenants, purchasers, or lenders, to provide entry to conduct or workers who are to perform work on the unit, or to conduct initial inspections before the end of the tenancy.
  5. If the court order permits the landlord to enter.
  6. The tenant and landlord have agreed that the landlord will make repairs or supply services, and have agreed orally that the landlord mat enter to make the repairs or supply the services.  The agreement must include the date and approximate time of entry, which must be within one week of the oral agreement. (California Civil Code 1954)

A landlord is supposed to give 24-hour notice and cannot enter without your permission, and can enter only during normal business hours (generally 8a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays) CC 1954(b)(d)(1).  But advance warming is not required under the following circumstances:

  1. Incase of emergency.
  2. Tenant has moved out or abandoned the rental unit.
  3. Tenant is present and consents to landlord’s entry.
  4. The tenant and landlord have agreed that the landlord will make repairs or supply services, and have agreed orally that the landlord mat enter to make the repairs or supply the services.  The agreement must include the date and approximate time of entry, which must be within one week of the oral agreement.

In most instances (emergencies excluded) a landlord can enter only during “normal business hours” and only after “reasonable notice.”

When you have agreed that repairs need to be made, or if he suspects something needs to be repaired, s/he needs your permission. You have the right to ask the landlord exactly what it is he intends to repair, or what needs assessing. He should not be entering your apartment looking around for work to do. You can show the landlord that portion of the law if you prefer.

However, if you believe s/he is going to come into the unit on a monthly basis, then this is another issue that needs to be addressed. Is there a way to have a conversation with the landlord that includes your concerns about the landlord coming by to check the unit on a regular basis? Is there another way to assure the landlord you are taking good care of his unit?

Is your lease month-to-month? If you plan to reside there a long time you may want to consider another approach, other than to assert your rights with the law. Experience with overly concerned landlords reveals that addressing them with legalese often turns them off and gets you a 30 day notice (on a month-to-month contract) in return. On a month-to-month contract no reason needs to be given when the landlord gives you a 30-day notice to vacate.