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Court Allows a Real Estate Agent to Hold Open Homes on Sunday Over a Tenant’s Objections

In Dromy v. Lukovsky, a California appellate court recently allowed a landlord to hold a leased condominium open on Sundays over the objections of the tenant. In Dromy, an owner of a residential condominium, which was leased to the defendant, wanted to sell the condominium. The tenant allowed the Realtor® to show the condominium to prospective purchasers by appointment only. However, the tenant refused to permit open homes on weekends. The landlord sued the tenant asking the court for a finding that the landlord was permitted to hold open homes on weekends with reasonable notice. The trial court issued a ruling finding in favor of the landlord with certain conditions. The appellate court affirmed.

The court evaluated Civil Code §1954, which permits a landlord to enter a dwelling unit to show the premises to prospective purchasers during “normal business hours.” The landlord was seeking an order from the court that normal business hours included Sundays. The court agreed, but subject to conditions. The court found that the landlord and the agent may limit the open houses to twice each month during limited afternoon hours. The court also required advanced notice. The tenant had the right to propose alternative days for open homes. The judgment also included safeguards pertaining to protection of the tenant’s personal property.

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