Landlord / Tenant Issues

When Can the Landlord Enter My Residence?

Landlord Entry (Civil Code 1954)

A tenant and landlord can agree orally to an entry to make agreed repairs or supply agreed services. The agreement shall include the date and approximate time of the entry, which shall be within one week of the agreement. Where the tenant and landlord agree orally, no written notice required.

A tenant has a basic right of privacy that a landlord must respect. Unless it is an emergency, a landlord must give a tenant reasonable notice in writing of his/her intent to enter and may enter only during normal business hours. This notice must state the date of entry, approximate time, and purpose of the entry. Twenty-four hours notice is presumed reasonable notice. The owner may mail the notice to the tenant. In this case, six days prior to entry is presumed reasonable notice. Upon entering a dwelling unit, the landlord or agent must leave written evidence of the entry inside the unit. A landlord may enter the residence after written notice only in the following situations:

  • To make necessary or agreed-upon repairs, decorations, alterations or improvements, supply necessary or agreed services, or exhibit the unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workmen or contractors. In case of entry by purchasers, the notice may be given orally, in person or by telephone, if the landlord or his or her agent has notified the tenant in writing within 120 days of the oral notice that the property is for sale and that the landlord or agent may contact the tenant orally for the purpose described above. Twenty four (24) hours notice under this provision would be presumed reasonable.
  • For smoke detector inspection (Health and Safety Code §13113.7).
  • To inspect water-filled furniture. (CC §1940.5)
  • As a result of a court order.

A landlord may enter in the following situations without written notice of entry:

  • To respond to an emergency.
  • If the tenant is present and consents to the entry at the time of entry.
  • After the tenant has abandoned or surrendered the unit.

A tenant cannot prohibit a landlord from entering a rental because the tenant is not present or because the time is inconvenient for the tenant. If a tenant is unreasonable about allowing entry for reasons named above (other than an emergency), it may result in the landlord serving a 60-day notice to terminate the tenancy. If a landlord violates a tenant's right to privacy, the tenant may call the police to document the violation in a police report. The police may also take direct action against the landlord for trespass. Keep a copy of the police report for your records. It can serve as evidence if you choose to take your landlord to court for trespass.