Even though the landlord technically owns the property, the tenant has possession of the property, and has constitutional rights to privacy within the premises while the lease is in effect. Legally, a landlord may provide a tenant 24-hours’ notice before entering the premises, if that notice is “personally delivered to the tenant, 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.” Civ. Code § 1954(d). However, if the landlord intends to mail the notice, it should be mailed at least six days before the intended date of entry in order to give adequate notice.
Typically, even after proper notice, a landlord can only enter the premises during regular business hours, which is approximately between 9am and 5pm Monday through Friday. However, if the landlord is holding an open house for potential buyers or future tenants, California Courts have held that since open houses typically occur on weekends, it is permissible for landlords to enter on weekends for that purpose.
It is important to remember, although landlords in most circumstances need to provide notice to the tenant before entry, they are allowed to enter the premises without notice in cases of emergency, like in case of a fire or a broken pipe.
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