Question: When can my landlord enter my apartment?
Answer: Tenants are granted exclusive possession of their apartment (or other rental property) when they sign a lease and comply with their lease obligations. This means tenants generally have control over who may enter the property and when they may do so.
Landlords, however, still have the right to enter the property as long as their entry is reasonable. California law lists the reasons why a landlord may enter your rental unit. These reasons include:
When a landlord is allowed to enter your rental property, the entrance should occur during normal, business hours. Landlords are also generally required to provide you with reasonable notice before seeking entry, and the notice must comply with California statutory guidelines.
California landlords may be liable to you for any entry that does not comply with California law. In extreme situations, the unauthorized entry may be considered a constructive eviction and entitle you to terminate your lease.
If you are having a problem with your landlord, the best course of action is often to discuss the matter in a noncontroversial manner. Your landlord may not understand your rights and may be willing to comply with your reasonable requests. If not, please consider consulting a licensed attorney.
Emil Dixon is the founder of the Davis Legal Center, a private law office located in Davis, California.