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California Legislature Makes Clear That Landlords Have The Right To Enter Apartments To Inspect For Bedbugs

On September 26, 2016, California enacted Assembly Bill 551, which provides new rights and obligations for residential landlords and tenants regarding bedbugs. Among its provisions, Assembly Bill 551 makes clear that residential landlords have the right to enter an apartment to inspect for bedbugs.

Under California Civil Code section 1954, a landlord has the right to enter an apartment for various reasons including to make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations or improvements, supply necessary or agreed services, or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workers, or contractors.

Assembly Bill creates a new Civil Code section 1954.604, which clarifies that “Entry to inspect any unit selected by the pest control operator and to conduct follow up inspections of surrounding units until bed bugs are eliminated is a necessary service for the purpose of Section 1954.”

Moreover, the new law requires tenants to cooperate with the inspection. In that regard, Civil Code section 1954.604 states as follows: “Tenants shall cooperate with the inspection to facilitate the detection and treatment of bed bugs, including providing requested information that is necessary to facilitate the detection and treatment of bed bugs to the pest control operator.”

After entering to inspect for bed bugs, the landlord is required to notify the tenant of the pest control operator’s findings. In that regard, Assembly Bill 551 creates Civil Code section 1954.605, which provides: “The landlord shall notify the tenants of those units inspected by the pest control operator pursuant to Section 1954.604 of the pest control operator’s findings. The notification shall be in writing and made within two business days of receipt of the pest control operator’s findings. For confirmed infestations in common areas, all tenants shall be provided notice of the pest control operator’s findings.”

Assembly Bill 551 becomes effective on January 1, 2017.

For further information, please contact Ruzicka, Wallace & Coughlin, LLP at (949) 748-3600; website:

The law firm of Ruzicka, Wallace & Coughlin, LLP represents landlords, property management companies, institutional and private lenders, employers and insurance companies throughout the State of California in real estate, business and employment litigation. The information provided herein is for general interest only and should not be relied upon or construed as legal advice. Past performance is not a guaranty of future results.

© 2016 Ruzicka, Wallace & Coughlin, LLP.

October 25, 2016 | Landlord-Tenant Law |