A Tenant’s Right to Privacy

antonina-bukowska-142087-copy-300x200There are certain rights you take for granted until someone else violates them. One of these is your right to privacy. As an individual, you are entitled to privacy from others. This is a social norm. As a resident of the U.S., you are entitled to a great deal of privacy from law enforcement and the government. As a tenant, you have the right to privacy from your landlord. When you are within your unit, you have a right to decide who comes and goes, who knows what is going on inside, and so forth, with only a few exceptions. Your landlord may have the right to come into your apartment and inspect the premises, but only in a certain way and at certain times.

If your landlord is constantly stopping by or letting him or herself into your unit without your permission or appropriate notice, call our California tenant rights attorneys at Brod Law Firm right away.

Your Right to Privacy in Your Rental Unit

When you rent an apartment, condo, or single-family home, you gain the exclusive right to possess that home. When you are the lawful tenant, no one else has any right to that space. In addition to this exclusive right of possession comes the right to privacy. You are entitled to working locks on all of the doors, and you have every right to keep those doors locked to stop others from entering without your permission. As the tenant, it is up to you who is allowed to come into your home. You may also have the right to take other measures to protect your privacy such as using blinds, shades, and curtains to stop being from seeing into your home.

When a Landlord May Enter Your Unit

There is an exception to your exclusive right of possession and your right to privacy, and that is when your landlord is entitled to come into the unit. Under the law, your landlord may enter your unit:

  • To make necessary repairs or improvements,
  • To show the rental unit to prospective buyers or tenants,
  • When you have moved out or abandoned the unit,
  • When a court order permits it, or
  • In case of an emergency.

If a landlord wants to come into the unit, then he or she usually must provide you with written notice at least 24 hours in advance. If the landlord mails the notice, he or she must do so at least six days prior to the time he or she wants to enter your unit. Your landlord can get away with not providing notice if the situation is an emergency or if you are no longer living in the apartment. Also, when your landlord is showing the building for sale or the unit for rent, so long as you were notified in writing of what is going on, the landlord can then give you 24-hour notice in person or over the phone.

Is Your Landlord Abusing the Right of Entry?

If your landlord is stopping by unannounced often, coming into your unit without notice, or abusing their right of entry with numerous notices to enter the apartment at various times, contact us at Brod Law Firm at (800) 427-7020 right away. This can be a difficult situation to deal with, particularly since unreasonably refusing your landlord entrance into your unit could be grounds for eviction. Speak with one of our attorneys today to learn more about your options and to avoid unintended consequences.

(image courtesy of Antonina Bukowska)