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Tenant Rights: Can a Tenant Refuse a Showing?

Tenant Rights: Can a Tenant Refuse a Showing?

After a somewhat sluggish 2023, the San Diego rental market is once again picking up, with 2024 predicted to be one of the busiest years yet for the area.

This means that you might be in the process of procuring new tenants for your portfolio. A huge part of this process is, of course, showings of the apartment or house you wish to rent out.

But what about the tenants that currently live there? What if they do not want you to show the home to prospective future residents? Can a tenant refuse a showing? Here's what you need to know about these specific tenant rights as a San Diego landlord.

Can a Tenant Refuse a Showing?

For the answer to this all-important question, we need to consult California law. The law sets out situations in which a landlord can enter a property, or when they can bring or send people to enter said property.

One of these situations is for showing a property to potential new tenants.

However, there are important conditions that the landlord must meet. If you do not follow these landlord-tenant rules in a compliant manner, the tenant has the right to refuse entry, and the law is 100% on their side.

How to Stay Compliant

As an owner of a rental real estate property, you give notice of the showing to the tenant in the correct manner.

First, your tenant must be reasonably informed that the property is either up for sale or being rented to someone else (i.e. the current tenant's lease has expired or they are subject to eviction proceedings).

For this, you must give notice at least 120 days in advance of the date on which the current tenant should vacate. If you have done this, then you are allowed to give the tenant oral notice of the showing itself at least 24 hours in advance.

When You Can Enter the Property

Now you might be wondering when you can enter a property you own as a real estate investor or landlord. California law is also quite clear about this.

You can only enter or arrange entry into a property during normal business hours, defined as between 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, unless in an emergency. You must always give notice of entry at least 24 hours in advance.

You cannot enter the property for routine inspections. This is specifically forbidden in California law. Remember, communication is always key, and managing good relations with your tenants from screening up until the last day of their lease is key.

Enlist the Help of Expert San Diego, CA Property Managers

When asking "Can a tenant refuse a showing?", it's important to remember that the answer depends entirely on your behavior. It's up to you to provide advance notice and handle the viewing in a compliant and respectful manner.

By taking the right approach, you can maintain good tenant relations and show your property to whoever needs to see it. If this sounds like something you need help with, we are happy to assist.

At Income Property Advisors, we help local investors like yourself to manage their portfolios for the best possible returns, and this includes managing good tenant relations. Please do not hesitate to get in touch to find out exactly how we can help you support a thriving portfolio.