When Can a Landlord Enter Your Apartment?

The law grants you exclusive possession of your home throughout the term of your lease. That means that your landlord does not have unrestricted access to your home. Nevertheless, some reasonable access to your apartment is necessary to maintain the landlord’s ownership rights for the time after you move out into the apartment. Reasonable access also means that the landlord will be able to do the repairs necessary to keep your home habitable.

Your landlord can enter your home for the following reasons

Renters Rights representation in California

  • Agreement: If you agree to it at the time of the landlord’s attempted entry.
  • Services: To provide necessary or agreed services.
  • Repairs: To make necessary or agree repairs, decoration, alterations, or improvements.
  • Emergencies: To respond to an emergency.
  • Show: To show your home to prospective or actual purchasers, tenants, mortgagees, workers, or contractors.
  • Initial inspection: To make an inspection if you request it. This is prior to the landlord’s final inspection after you have vacated your apartment. There are some occasions when you cannot request an initial inspection.
  • Abandonment or surrender: If you abandon or surrender the apartment.
  • Court order: If a court orders it.

Except in cases of emergency or when you have abandoned or surrendered your home, the entry must be made during normal business hours unless you consent to another time.

A landlord may not abuse the right of access or use the right of access to harass you. If you have a significant dispute with your landlord, consult an attorney who concentrates in tenant rights.

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Mary Catherine Wiederhold

Tenant Attorney
1458 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

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