Can my landlord enter my apartment in order to paint the front door?

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Can my landlord enter my apartment in order to paint the front door?

My landlord has been remodeling the complex, which includes painting the doors. I told her that I would leave work 2 hours early to comply with her wish to paint the door and that I could not be there on weekends. Now, I received notice under civil code 1954 that she is coming in to paint on in 2 days on a 3 day weekend, leaving my door open for 2 hours while the paint dries. I am upset and want to know if she can do this?

Asked on June 29, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A landlord may access a tenant's apartments on reasonable notice, at reasonable times, to perform maintenace or repairs. The issue is whether both (1) when and how the landlord wants to do it is reasonable; and 2) also whether your conditions were themselves reasonable--though even if they were, a landlord is not necessarily obligated to comply with a tenant's conditions or requests, especially if such would increase the landlord's costs.

Probably, the landlord can, given that you've received notice, arrange to paint when it wants to, especially if there's some reason--such as scheduling all the work in the building too get done in a reasonable time--that supports it. To try to fight the landlord's right to do this, you'd have to bring a legal action, which is likely not cost effective, especially since there's a good chance you'd lose--and you could not win any money to offset lawsuit costs.

If anything is stolen from or damaged in your apartment due to the painting or by the painters (including during the time the door is open), the landlord would mostly likely be liable for it.


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