Steps a Landlord Must Take Before Entering Your Home
Civ. Code § 1954 states that a landlord may enter a tenant’s home in the following situations:
► In case of emergency.
► To make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations or improvements, supply necessary or agreed services, or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workers, or contractors or to make an inspection pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 1950.5.
► When the tenant has abandoned or surrendered the premises.
► Pursuant to court order.
► For the purposes set forth in Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 1954.201).
► To comply with the provisions of Article 2.2 (commencing with Section 17973) of Chapter 5 of Part 1.5 of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code.
Civ. Code § 1954 further states “[t]he landlord may not abuse the right of access or use it to harass the tenant.”
Even if the landlord’s entry fits into one of categories above, the landlord is required in most situations to provide “proper” and “reasonable” notice regarding the entry.
HOW LONG BEFORE ENTRY IS NOTICE REQUIRED?
Civ. Code §1954 states that 24-hours’ notice prior to entry “shall be presumed to be reasonable notice in absence of evidence to the contrary.” This means that notice is required at least 24-hours prior to the desired entry by the landlord unless your lease provides otherwise.
ARE THERE OTHER RESTRICTIONS ON WHEN MY LANDLORD CAN ENTER?
Yes. The entry must be during “normal business hours.” (Civ. Code § 1954 (c).)
WHAT MUST BE INCLUDED IN THE NOTICE?
Civ. Code § 1954 requires that “[t]he notice include the date, approximate time, and purpose of the entry.”
HOW MUST THE NOTICE BE SERVED?
The notice can be (1) personally delivered to the tenant; (2) left with someone of a suitable age and discretion at the premises, or, left on, near, or under the usual entry door of the premises in a manner in which a reasonable person would discover the notice.
“The notice may be mailed to the tenant. Mailing of the notice at least six days prior to an intended entry is presumed reasonable notice in the absence of evidence to the contrary.”
CAN ME AND MY LANDLORD AGREE TO ENTRY WITHOUT NOTICE?
Yes. Tenants and landlords may agree to entry at a time and in a manner that does not conform with the requirements above.
ARE THERE ANY SITUATIONS WHERE NOTICE IS NOT REQUIRED?
Yes. Civ. Code § 1954 (e) states that no notice is required in the following situations:
► 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.