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Landlord wants to do open house on weekends.

San Ramon, CA |

Our landlord wants to sell the house we currently renting from him. He wants to do the open house on the weekends and will reduce $50 from our monthly rent for the inconvenience, is this reasonable?
We don't like open houses because that mean everyone on the street can enter our home, we don't find that is safe. Can we use this reason to refuse open houses?

Attorney Answers 3


California law allows a landlord to enter a rental home to show the property to prospective purchasers, as long as the landlord gives reasonable notice. In most cases, 24 hours is considered reasonable. Your landlord is not required to reduce your rent to compensate for the inconvenience.

I would recommend negotiating with your landlord to set up a mutually-agreeable schedule. Does he want to show the house all day, every Saturday and Sunday? That would probably be excessive. Can you make a deal where he only holds an open house every few weeks, for just one day?

For more information, check out the California Department of Consumer affairs website:

Please understand that this is a general discussion of legal principles by a California lawyer and does not create an attorney/client relationship. It's impossible to give detailed, accurate advice based on a few sentences on a website (and you shouldn't provide too much specific information about your legal matter on a public forum like this, anyway). You should always seek advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction who can give you an informed opinion after reviewing all of the relevant information.

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My colleague above omits a few points. California Civil Code section 1954 says that other than in the case of an emergency, a residential landlord can only enter your home during NORMAL BUSINESS hours. I construe normal business hours to be 9-5, M-F, excluding holidays. That means no weekend showings, unless you decide you want to allow them for your own reasons.

California Civil Code section 1954 also says that a residential landlord may not abuse the right of entry or use it to harass a tenant. You rented your house to live in it; not to live in a display home. I believe that open houses in a tenants home are innately abusive.

When I deal with landlords for my clients, I start negotiations at one entry to show the home EVERY OTHER week, for one hour. I limit the number of people who can enter to six and require that they be accompanied by a licensed real estate person at all times. That means that people do not wonder through the home unaccompanied. I also do not permit photography or videotaping of my clients' homes.

This is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. The information about is a general statement of the law. Reviewing a case and giving legal advice to a client requires more information than can be exchanged in this format. If you need legal advice, contact an experienced tenants' attorney.

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I agree with Mr. Driscoll. While they can show it to prospective buyers, they must give adequate notice (24 hours) in writing and it must be during business hours. I believe you can decline to consent to weekend showings, unless the two of you agree in writing to a stipulation for showings.

I understand your concern about open showings. The law doesnt say you have to consent to open houses, only that landlord may show the house to prospective buyers. He can do that by making appointments with interested buyers.

By the way, do you have a lease? If so, someone will need to buy you out. If not, he can just give you a 30- or 60-day notice and have the open showings after you vacate.

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