"Annual Inspection" of rental property allowed in CA?

An acquaintance back in Sac was on the rag last night. She’s been sick for three weeks, is stressing over work and school, and received a notification that the landlord was going to come in for an “annual inspection.” She claims this is illegal as only needed maintenance work, with coordination with the tenant, is permitted under the law cited in the notice. I’m skeptical - how would the landlord know if maintenance was required if he/she never did an inspection and got no complaints about anything?

It’s probably in the lease that landlord is allowed an inspection with prior notice.

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With proper notice, landlord has the right to inspect.

Your friend can call the landlord to reschedule if she desires.

Why is she so scared of inspection? If she is not doing anything illegal or violating the lease, a messy apartment is legal. She has the right to be messy :rofl:

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The place is a mess right now but she also has a gecko and a corn snake. No pets. She should have been up front about it and asked for an exclusion. Back in my renting days I got exclusions for “small terrarium animals e.g. geckos.” Or she should get a friend to come over and grab the critters for a bit. She has a habit of getting herself in trouble by being adversarial about everything. Known her for decades. She was fine at 20; bitter and defensive at 40.

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24 hour notice for inspections. And I didn’t think they were limited to just one.

I wouldn’t want to be a landlord without such a right. Can you imagine what you’d come back to in 20 years if you couldn’t come by and inspect???

PS: Agree with saying she’s sick, could he come another time.

PS: She should have someone take the pets, but the inspection would be a good time to ask if she could have them.

We signed a “no pets” lease, but verbally they said caged pets were ok, and later I was told chickens were fine outside. It’s just nothing that pees on the rug or damages the hardwood floors.


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Inspections can be required by the City or county. She is not protected from inspections.

She’s had cats on and off.

Are her parents like her? I think such a personality is most likely the fault of her parents

my old rental contracts had this clause in it…

“In the event an undisclosed pet is discovered, they agree to pay a pet fee of $60/month for the entire term of the agreement, regardless of when the pet was first introduced to the household”

Dozens of people have signed this, but I have never collected on it. Recently I started to use the CAR contract, which itself does not have such a provision but refers to a special “Pet Addendum”.
In light of the whole “service animal” etc stuff, I’m not even bothering any more. I think most of my tenants have pets.

In regards to the inspection, landlord can do an inspection every day of the week during reasonable hours. Of course, after a few too many inspections, a tenant may go the harassment litigation route (discrimination, singling out, race stuff etc esp with multi-family).

If there is any kind of emergency situation e.g. after a fire or flooding, I’m not giving any notice. I knock 3 times, wait a minute and then unlock the door. Yes, I’ve had both happen.


Santa Cruz and other cities have annual rental inspection programs.
They are thought to protect tenants from substandard living situations.
But (in Santa Cruz), the City Checklist includes “no inoperable/ unregistered vehicles” item. That helps the landlord more than the tenant:
“I’m sorry Mike about that project Corvette, but the City just does not allow it in its kingdom. I wish I could help you! Maybe you need to move to the County.”


I find inspections annoying and arbitrary. But as an inspector pointed out they protect the landlords more than the tenants. Plenty of tenants live like pigs. So bad that even the inspector won’t go inside. Gives the landlord the perfect opportunity to evict and upgrade. Nothing like having the city on your side in an eviction.

An old curmudgeon I know in Mountain View has at least 4 inoperable vehicles in his back yard. They’re all registered as non-op though.
I guess another problem with pets is if a tenant with a personal grudge against another tenant tries to get use you to get even by making BS complaints about whatever the pet is. Selective enforcement of any rule can lead to problems. Curmudgeon guy had a neighbor complain to the city about his backyard mess. An inspector came out but couldn’t nail him for anything specific. Suspecting which neighbor complained he set up a telescope to look into the guy’s garage with the goal of finding something he could rat out to the Fire Marshall. And when the guy had family visting in a camper he complained to the city about it after it had been parked exactly 72 hours; there’s some sort of ordinance about that.
BAGB - lady’s dad was a loser and out of the picture early . Mom is a bit of a loser but mostly stable. The lady herself is hard to pin down. She can be unbelievably focused when she’s set on a goal. Highly proficient with horses and on sportbikes and never been seriously injured. Five minutes to get familiar with a new firearm and she’s shooting groups you’d be hard pressed to find a cop or military person capable of. Turned 40, had a “come to Jesus”, lost 20 lbs and paid off 20k in credit card debt in just over 6 months; started on a degree she’ll get in under 3 years while working full time. But at the same time she has an incredible talent for self-sabotage which has gotten worse over the years.

Routine inspection to ensure the condition of the property now is the same as moving in. It is also an excellent opportunity to bring up any issues. Your acquaintance. Most inspections must be conducted in normal hours agreed mutually. These days insurance even want to inspect backyard and front to make sure there are no exterior upkeep issues.

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Honestly, I liked the annual inspection with the Property Management company… Less so with landlords because they have an emotional attachment to the property, but that was ok too.

With the PM company, it gave me an excuse to point out small issues that would seem like I was nitpicking if I called about, but for an inspection, I feel like it’s my job to let them know anything that’s not right. On occasion some of them got fixed, and I didn’t look like I was complaining or being a high-maintenance tenant.