Q: Can my landlord's property management company do quarterly or semi-annual inspections to "check-up" on the property?
I signed a rental agreement in September of 2020 and I noticed a clause that said the property management company will perform non-specific inspections, pretty much to check on the property and the tenants. We haven't been here 90 days and they are already trying to do said inspection. Do they have a right to do this because I signed a lease that said they would do this? Or, is the lease invalid because it violates my rights under California law? I feel somewhat offended they feel the need to do such inspections without any specific reason. Thank you.
A: Leases customarily have landlord inspection clauses. They also have specific notice requirements and the notices must be in writing. If your lease has these provisions it is legal and valid. I recommend you cooperate with the property management company and let them inspect. Otherwise, you will develop a reputation as being a trouble maker and they will be reluctant to renew your lease.
A: Civil Code section 1954 covers the landlord's right to enter a dwelling unit. It does NOT provide for general "inspections". Any provision in a lease or rental agreement purporting to have a tenant waive their rights under section 1954 is void [Civil Code section 1953(a)]. You should read the entire section 1954, as it provides the procedure to be followed and details the purposes for which entry can be made. An intentional significant violation of section 1954 can have negative repercussions for a landlord. A landlord is prohibited from retaliating against you for exercising your rights under section 1954. That does not mean you should always refuse inspections, as they can also be beneficial to you, but you need to be aware of your rights in deciding whether to do so.
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