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Do Tenants Have to Allow Inspections?

Do Tenants Have to Allow Inspections?

Do Tenants Have to Allow Inspections?


Do Tenants Have to Allow Inspections?

In cities like Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco, tenants are obligated to allow inspections for reasonable viewings of their rental units by a landlord, potential buyers, or real estate agents. However, landlords can’t just show up and demand entry. Landlords must follow specific rules and limitations to enter your unit legally, even when showing it to a prospective buyer.

If your landlord is overstepping their bounds with unreasonable entries into your rental property, this could constitute harassment. Discuss your legal options with a San Francisco tenant’s rights attorney.

Your Rights Regarding Viewings of Your Rental Property

 California Civil Code §1954 places limitations on a landlord’s right to enter your apartment. One of the reasons a landlord can enter is to show your home to a prospective buyer. While tenants are generally required to allow viewings, they also have rights to privacy and peaceful enjoyment of their rental unit.

You Have the Right to Twenty-Four Hour Written Notice

Assuming that your landlord has a legitimate reason to enter your home, they are still required to provide twenty-four-hour written notice before entering your rental unit. This notice must identify the legal reason for entry under Civil Code §1954. In cases of emergency a landlord may be able to enter without giving advanced notice.

Inspections Must Be During Business Hours

Except for cases of emergency your Landlord can only enter your home during normal business hours unless you agree otherwise.

What Happens if I Refuse to Allow My Landlord to Enter?

Refusing to allow your landlord to enter for a legitimate purpose may be grounds for eviction. To ensure that you do not jeopardize your tenancy contact a tenant’s rights attorney.  We recommend that all tenants understand their rights and responsibilities, communicate effectively with landlords, and consult local tenant advocates or legal counsel if disputes arise regarding viewings or access to the rental unit.

What to Do if Your Landlord is Abusing their Right to Enter 

Abuse of the right to access your unit is considered harassment under San Francisco’s Rent Ordinance and other local tenant anti-harassment laws. If your landlord is subjecting you to excessive or unexpected viewings of your rental unit, it's important to take action to protect your privacy and well-being.

  • Notify your landlord in writing that, while you understand the need for viewings, the frequency is disruptive and causes discomfort. Request reasonable advance notice and respect for your privacy.
  • Document everything in relation to excessive viewings. Maintain a record of all viewings, including dates, times, and any communication with your landlord. This documentation can be useful if you need to take further action.

If the situation escalates or becomes intolerable, consult an experienced tenant rights attorney who can provide guidance on what to do next.

Never Wait to Consult a Tenant’s Rights Lawyer

While your landlord has the right to show the unit to prospective tenants, you also have the right to peaceful enjoyment of your home. If constant or unannounced viewings disrupt your daily life, make it clear that you expect your rights to be respected. Contact the legal team at Wolford Wayne for help today.

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For more information or to discuss your legal situation, call us today at (415) 649-6203 for a phone consultation or submit an inquiry below. Please note our firm can only assist tenants residing in San Francisco, Oakland & Berkeley.

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