Tenant is refusing to cooperate in gaining entrance to unit for an appraisal for mortgage refinance. I've given generous notice and suspect hoarding. We have an appointment tomorrow and I do not know to what degree of condition the unit is in. I suspect she will lock me out and not be present.
First, you have to give the tenant advance written notice before attempting to enter the rental unit. Under Civil Code 1954, the landlord may enter a tenant's unit without the tenant's permission only in an emergency or upon 24 hours advance notice for specified reasons. Please note that the landlord must perform non-emergency repairs in a reasonable fashion during normal work hours. Otherwise, there is potential liability under Civil Code 1940.2 and for breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment. Pierce v. Nash, 126 Cal.App.2d 606, 614 (1954).
Second, you should try communicating with the tenant to find out what their concerns are. Further, you should inform the tenant in writing that you cannot make the requested repairs, if they do not allow you access. You should document your efforts with email or letters.
Third, before you attempt to go to court, you should see if local law enforcement and/or the housing department will assist you in speaking with the tenant and gaining access or use a free landlord tenant mediation service.
Only after all those steps fail should you consider filing a complaint seeking to compel access to the premises.
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Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
In addition to the previous responses, the rights of the tenancy are further supplemented by the written agreement between the parties. There could be terms in your lease with the tenant that specifically affords the rights of allowing entry for the purpose of seeking refinancing. If this is not expressed in the lease, Civil Code 1954 is the controlling statute that governs reasonable notice of entry. If you need additional assistance, contact a local landlord/tenant attorney.
This response is not intended, nor should it be construed as legal advice. Any information provided is for educational purposes only. The exchange of communications through Avvo.com and similar social media does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me or my office. To schedule an appointment for an attorney-client privileged consultation, contact me at 909-860-0342. Thank you.