Yes, the landlord can show the apartment to prospective tenants while you are still living there. You cannot flatly refuse. California law states that a landlord can enter a rental unit to show the rental unit to prospective tenants, purchasers, or lenders, to provide entry to contractors or workers who are to perform work on the unit, or to conduct an initial inspection before the end of the tenancy.
However, there are limitations that the landlord must follow. The landlord or agent may use any one of the following methods to give the tenant written notice of intent to enter the unit: The landlord or agent may personally deliver the notice to the tenant; or leave the notice at the rental unit with a person of suitable age and discretion; or leave the notice on, near or under the unit's usual entry door in such a way that it is likely to be found; or mail the notice to the tenant. The law considers 24 hours' advance written notice to be reasonable in most situations.
Pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1954(c), a landlord cannot abuse the right of access allowed by these rules, or use this right of access to harass or repeatedly disturb the tenant. Also, the law prohibits a landlord from significantly and intentionally violating these access rules to attempt to influence the tenant to move from the rental unit. If a landlord's violation of these rules was significant and intentional, and the landlord's purpose was to influence you to move from the rental unit, you can sue the landlord in small claims court for a civil penalty of up to $2,000 for each violation. (Civil Code Section 1940.2(b).)
The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author (who is only admitted to practice law in the State of California). For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.
If you already gave 30 day notice to terminate, landlord probably want to find a replacement tenant. Most leases provide landlord the right to show the property with proper advance notice to the tenant. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.
Your rental agreement most likely addresses the issue. Otherwise, the California Civil Code 1954 spells out the requirements for a landlord to enter a dwelling. Showing the unit to prospective tenants is one of the allowed activities, but with certain conditions.
It states, in part, "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.....Twenty-four hours shall be presumed to be reasonable notice in absence of evidence to the contrary."
It is difficult to rent an apartment without being able to show it, so I would recommend working with your landlord to help in the matter. Perhaps you can coordinate that you're there at the time of the showing.