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Can my landlord hold open houses on the weekend while I am

Customer Question
still living in the rental...
Can my landlord hold open houses on the weekend while I am still living in the rental unit?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: It is in Semi Valley California.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Nothing has been filed. Our rental agreement does not expire until June of next year. We have no more privacy
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No thank you
Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
8/6/2017
Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 3 months ago
RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 14,065
Experience: Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney and look forward to helping you. I am reviewing your question and will reply back shortly.

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Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 3 months ago

Hello,

While you have a right to possession of your home, such right is subject to a very narrow exception, identified in Civil Code 1954. Here’s the actual statute, highlighted:

§1954. Entry by Landlord
(a) A landlord may enter the dwelling unit only in the following cases:
(1) In case of emergency.
(2) 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.
(3) When the tenant has abandoned or surrendered the premises.
(4) Pursuant to court order.
(b) Except in cases of emergency or when the tenant has abandoned or surrendered the premises, entry may not be made during other than normal business hours unless the tenant consents to an entry during other than normal business hours at the time of entry.
(c) The landlord may not abuse the right of access or use it to harass the tenant.
(d)(1) Except as provided in subdivision (e), or as provided in paragraph (2) or (3), the landlord shall give the tenant reasonable notice in writing of his or her intent to enter and enter only during normal business hours. The notice shall include the date, approximate time, and purpose of the entry. The notice may be 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. Twenty-four hours shall be presumed to be reasonable notice in absence of evidence to the contrary. 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.
(2) If the purpose of the entry is to exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, the notice may be given orally, in person or by telephone, if the landlord or his or her agent has notified the tenant in writing within 120 days of the oral notice that the property is for sale and that the landlord or agent may contact the tenant orally for the purpose described above. Twenty-four hours is presumed reasonable notice in the absence of evidence to the contrary. The notice shall include the date, approximate time, and purpose of the entry. At the time of entry, the landlord or agent shall leave written evidence of the entry inside the unit.
(3) The tenant and the landlord may agree orally to an entry to make agreed repairs or supply agreed services. The agreement shall include the date and approximate time of the entry, which shall be within one week of the agreement. In this case, the landlord is not required to provide the tenant a written notice.
(e) No notice of entry is required under this section:
(1) To respond to an emergency.
(2) If the tenant is present and consents to the entry at the time of entry.
(3) After the tenant has abandoned or surrendered the unit.

Under subsection (b), without your consent at the time of entry, no such entry is permitted outside of “normal business hours,” generally meaning Monday through Friday, 9AM – 5 PM, excluding holidays. Weekend and evening visits, while convenient to the buyer and real estate agent, are not what we understand to be normal business hours. However, under a 2013 court decision [Dromy v. Lukovsky], the courts are beginning to permit weekends and evenings as “normal” hours for the real estate agents under this law, so that such weekend open houses and evening visits are legally permitted with some limitations.

In Dromy, in reaching the determination of what should be normal business hours, the Court noted that landlords have a strong interest in being able to sell their real estate, as our law favors free alienability of property. On the other hand, the Court recognized that a tenant has a right to “quiet enjoyment” in his possession of the premises throughout his tenancy, including the last 30 days of his occupancy.

In order to balance those two competing interests, the Court approved Open Houses of dwelling units which are offered for sale, subject to the following specific conditions:

  1. Open Houses can be conducted on Saturdays or Sundays between 1:00 pm and 4:30 pm;
  2. The owner is entitled to hold two Open Houses per month;
  3. The listing agent is required to be present during such Open Houses;
  4. The tenant is allowed to be present during the Open Houses (in order that the tenant could safeguard his own possessions); and
  5. The real estate agent must give at least ten days advance notice to the tenant of the proposed weekend Open House dates. The tenant would then have 48 hours to approve those dates or provide alternate weekend dates.

The justices did not limit showings to just those five conditions. Instead, it held that if the five elements are satisfied, the showings would satisfy the “normal business hours” requirement as authorized by the Civil Code. The jurists left open whether other dates, times and conditions would also comport with the statute. In other words, the five conditions were sufficient to satisfy the statutory requirements, but other conditions might also, based on a case by case determination.

Bot***** *****ne, pursuant to the 2013 ruling, open houses on weekends are now permitted in California and considered part of "normal business hours" but subject to the limitations discussed above, unless you and your landlord work something else out, of course.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I can't receive your response on my cell phone. Could you email it to me?
Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 3 months ago

I am only permitted to respond in this format per site rules. I cannot email you, I'm sorry, as I don't even have the ability to do that.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
On repairs how much cost is the tenant liable for?
Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 3 months ago

Sorry for the delay, I was assisting another customer and I didn't get a notification of your reply right away. Generally speaking, unless the lease provides for otherwise, the landlord has the duty to make repairs and keep the home habitable for the tenant (I have seen leases that give responsibility to tenants for things like upkeep of the lawn or pool, however).

If the tenant causes the property to become uninhabitable, the tenant cannot require the landlord to repair the property to make it habitable, however. Similarly, the tenant cannot require the landlord to repair the property if the tenant substantially interferes with the landlord's ability to repair defects (for example, by not allowing the landlord's electrician to enter the apartment to fix faulty wiring).

In addition, the landlord is not obligated to repair damage caused by the tenant's own carelessness (for example, a toilet that will not flush because the tenant's child flushed a sock down it).

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Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 3 months ago

Now, if you're talking about move-out expenses, as far as what a tenant can be held liable for, a tenant isn't responsible for normal wear and tear. For example, paint on the walls will fade over time, that is normal, and a tenant wouldn't be expected to repaint or pay to have the wall painted. But if the tenant went and painted all of the walls a bright red color with glitter, a landlord could make a tenant pay the cost of having it painted back to the typical color.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Our water heater went out and he wants us to pay for it.
Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 3 months ago

Unless the lease provides that it is your responsibility, the landlord has the obligation to make the repairs.

California Civil Code section 1941 states that when a landlord rents property to a tenant as a place to live, the property must be in a "habitable" condition. ("Habitable" means fit to live in; "uninhabitable" means not fit to live in.) Section 1941 also states that the landlord must repair problems that make the property uninhabitable – except for problems caused by the tenant or the tenant's guests, children or pets. In order for the property to be habitable, it must have all of the following:

  1. a) Effective waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls, including unbroken windows and doors.
  2. b) Plumbing facilities in good working order, including hot and cold running water, connected to a sewage disposal system.
  3. c) Gas facilities in good working order.
  4. d) Heating facilities in good working order.
  5. e) An electrical system, including lighting, wiring and equipment, in good working order.
  6. f) Clean and sanitary buildings, grounds and appurtenances (for example, a garden or a detached garage) which are free from debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents and vermin.
  7. g) Adequate trash receptacles in good repair.
  8. h) Floors, stairways and railings in good repair.
  9. In addition, the rented property must have all of the following:
  10. i) A working toilet, wash basin, and bathtub or shower. The toilet and bathtub/shower must be in a room that is ventilated, and that allows for privacy.
  11. j) A kitchen with a sink, which cannot be made of an absorbent material (for example, wood).
  12. k) Natural lighting in every room through windows or skylights. Unless there is a ventilation fan, the windows must be able to open at least halfway.
  13. l) Safe fire or emergency exits leading to a street or hallway. Stairs, hallways and exits must be kept litter free. Storage areas, garages, and basements must be kept free of combustible materials.
  14. m) Operable deadbolt locks on the main entry doors of rental units, and operable locking or security devices on windows.
  15. n) Working smoke detectors in all units of multi-unit buildings, such as duplexes and apartment complexes. Apartment complexes also must have smoke detectors in common stairwells.

These are minimum requirements. Other conditions may make the rented property not habitable. For example, the rented property may not be habitable if it does not substantially comply with building and housing code standards that materially affect tenants' health and safety.

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Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 3 months ago

Was there anything I could clarify or additional information you needed? If so, please reply without rating, and I'll be happy to assist you further. Otherwise, please leave a positive rating for me by clicking on the stars at the top of the page as that is the only way experts are credited by the site for our assistance. Thank you.

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