Civil Code section 1954 specifies the conditions under which a landlord may enter a dwelling. Subdivision (b) permits a landlord to enter a dwelling to exhibit the premises to prospective or actual purchasers during “normal business hours.” Does this include weekend open houses?
In a case of first impression the court in Dromy v. Lukovsky answered the question in the affirmative in holding that normal business hours means “objectively reasonable hours under the facts and circumstances of the case, keeping in mind the right of tenants to quiet enjoyment and the right of landlords to sell their property.”
The court relied on the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act in reaching its decision which provides: “A tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent to the landlord to enter into the dwelling unit in order to inspect the premises, 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, workmen, or contractors.” The Act also provides a landlord “shall not abuse the right of access or use it to harass the tenant,” and that a landlord “may enter only at reasonable times.”
In balancing the competing interests of the tenant and landlord the court concluded reasonable times included weekend open houses held twice per month, during limited afternoon hours – specifically between the hours of 1:00 pm. and 4:30 p.m. Other conditions approved by the court: 10 days advance email notice of proposed weekend open house dates and notification by tenant of consent, or alternative weekend dates, within 48 hours of notification.
Michael Daymude consults with clients and accepts cases involving landlord/tenant disputes. For other types of cases accepted, please scroll the Home and My Practice pages. If you are seeking a legal consultation or representation, call Michael at 818.971.9409.