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Posted by Dawn on November 13, 2000 at 13:28:30:

In Reply to: changed locks, let landlord have access thru 1 door only? posted by mc on November 10, 2000 at 20:20:46:

The landlord has a right to enter but find out if California law states any time frame or in what instance -- for example, the landlord must give 24 hours. And say you would want the 24 hours notice. Ask that they sign off on this letter or if you don't hear in ten days, it'll be considered that the landlord is in agreement (thus it becomes a letter of agreement - you don't need to tell her about the letter of agreement part, just to sign off or the 10 days to reply). In case of emergency in general, leave her phone numbers on where to reach you at any time of the day or night, sending her this info in a polite, short note via certified or Federal Express (you need a signature of receipt which is good for your files so you know the landlord or someone from the LL's camp received it). Also, do you live alone? use this to your advantage, stating your concern about break-ins, hence your worry about anyone having access to your place when you're not there! Then you can say, by the way, the 24 hours reason(if California law states this). Keep a copy of the letter for your files. Then sit and wait. Pay your rent on time, go about your business, but stay alert. If she comes up to you later and has the audacity to ask for a key, just repeat nicely and calmly that if she ever needs you for anything, she can call X number any time of day, day or night (give her a number that has an answering machine so if she leaves any wacky messages you can save it and keep as evidence in case you need to go to court). Don't give her a yes or a no as it might stir the LL up. You don't need to answer that, just merely repeat the wanting to be helpful and accessible speech. She'll have no choice but to back off. And if she gets nasty or verbal, keep in mind, it's only to get you to say or do something illegal so don't play into her abuse. Smile and walk away, don't let LL get to you. You've got the uppper hand if LL loses their cool. If she gets abusive, take notes of time and dates for your files. Keep all correspondence and documentation kept locked away in a bank Safety deposit box along with a copy of your lease. I would check your lease, too, just in case anything's unusual. also check with nolo press' website for any further info (especially the California statute of time landlord can notify to gain entry to your place). Stay polite, alert, and keep reading up on your rights as a tenant. Good luck.

: I'm new to the Internet so pls bear with me. Santa Monica, CA, house Rent-controlled. I've lived here 8 years, landlady has entered illegally repeatedly. I changed the locks on the front & side door, but she never entered through those doors, because I believe long ago she either lost the keys or was never given them. She always used the back door, which a friend jerry-rigged with a pipe and a rope so it couldn't be pulled open from the other side. Now I've received a letter from her lawyer saying you changed the locks, give her a key or else. Can I write to the lawyer & say, "I did not change the lock on the back door, I merely secured it" (or some other word that minimizes my blame, any suggestions?), "please remind her of the law that says (in CA) that a landlord must give 24 hrs notice except in emergency." By law she has to be able to enter the house in an emergency, so I suppose I have to dismantle my rope, but I would prefer that she not have the other key because if she sneaks in it's only one door to watch and listen for. Pertinent facts: the day I changed my frontdoor locks my exroommate came by and got the landlady to let her in. That's when I secured the back door. I see evidence that she has been in (things amiss)and I've also caught her in person on a number of occasions. She's an old lady & I've asked her nicely but until this she continued to enter, sometimes on a daily basis. It has affected my mental health, peace of mind. Spoke w/ the city atty about 6 months ago, they said they could send a tenant harassment letter, but advised caution inasmuch as the landlord could use something my roommate was doing as an excuse and evict us. If I move or get evicted, they could charge a lot more. Would much appreciate any advice.

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