Answer: Yes. A landlord can enter a premises in an emergency or to make necessary repairs. Water dripping could constitute an emergency situation, depending on the amount of water involved and the potential for injury to the tenant below. Necessary repairs would include turning off the source of water, which may require entrance into the rented unit.
California law permits a landlord to enter premises rented to a tenant, in specified situations, at certain times, and, in many cases, after giving the tenant written notice. CC §1954. Under CC §1954, the landlord may enter the premises only:
- in an emergency;
- to make necessary or agreed-on repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements;
- to supply necessary or agreed-on services;
- to exhibit the unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workers, or contractors;
- to make an inspection under CC §1950.5(f);
- when the tenant has abandoned or surrendered the premises; or
- under a court order.
Presumably, the landlord also may enter without fear of liability when the tenant initiates or consents to the entry at the time of entry.
For everything you need to know about the rights and duties during a tenancy, turn to CEB’s California Landlord-Tenant Practice, chap 3.
© The Regents of the University of California, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.