Can a landlord control who does and doesn’t visit their tenant?

UPDATED: Sep 1, 2011

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Can a landlord control who does and doesn’t visit their tenant?

Our neighbor (owner) has rented her property to a person. We met him (tenant) and introduced ourselves. We then received an e-mail from the owner stating that they were aware we met her tenant but we were forbidden to visit with him on her property. Do they have such power? By way of background, 6 years ago the owner broke up with her boyfriend and instructed us to break off our friendship with him. We refused. Ever since we have been persona non grata.

Asked on September 1, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In all states in this country, when a landlord rents out his or her property to a tenant he gives up right of possession to it. The tenant who pays rent is entitled to possession and all rights incident to possession of the unit concerning who can come to it for a reasonable visit.

A landlord in a written lease can limit the length of a visit of a guest for the purppose of not having more permanent tenants living in the rented unit than agreed to.

However, a landlord cannot restirct who comes and who cannot come to the rented property for a visit. Only the tenant can. The landlord can only make any such restrictions if in the past there has been problems with a visitor warranting possible police intervention.


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