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In California, normal business hours can include weekends.

That’s the decision this week from the state’s Court of Appeals, after hearing a dispute brought by a tenant to bar her landlord from holding weekend open houses.

The landlord owned a residential condominium in Santa Monica.  The property was subject to the city’s rent control scheme, which places restrictions on a landlord’s ability to evict a tenant. In this case, the tenant had been in the property since 1994.

When the landlord/owner decided to sell, the tenant consented to private showings to prospective purchasers by appointment only. She refused to permit weekend open houses.

Frustrated, the landlord sought a court order clarifying his rights to show the property. The listing agent provided evidence that weekend open house showings are the standard in the industry. The lower court, taking into account the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment and right to notice of entry, ordered that two open houses could take place each month on the weekends, between 1:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., so long as the agent was present, and the tenant received 10 days email notice. Tenant had two days to object to any proposed date.

The tenant appealed the lower court’s order, and asked the appellate court to rule that the landlord could not access the property on weekends.

In upholding the lower court’s decision, the appellate court concluded that the phrase “normal business hours”, found in California’s landlord-tenant statute regarding when landlords can enter an occupied property, does not preclude weekend days.

The tenant was ordered to pay the landlord the costs of the appeal.

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