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This form is used by the owner of a rental property when listed for sale and before showing rented units to prospective buyers, to advise the tenants the property is “For Sale” and that during the next 120 days the owner or their agent intend to enter their unit on 24 hours’ telephonic notice and show it to prospective buyers.


Your use of RPI Form 116

Landlord’s right to enter another’s space

A landlord’s right to enter a residential or commercial unit during the period of the tenant’s right to occupy the premises is severely limited.

Here, the possessory rights to occupy the property have been conveyed to the tenant and are no longer held by the landlord, until a reversion of possession occurs on termination of the tenancy. [See RPI e-book Real Estate Property Management, Chapter 4]

Thus, a residential landlord may only enter the tenant’s space during the term of the rental or lease agreement in the following limited circumstances:

  • in an emergency;
  • to make repairsalterationsimprovements, or supply services that are either necessary or previously approved by the tenant;
  • to complete a pre-expiration inspection for deficiencies which would result in a deduction from the tenant’s security deposit;
  • to show the unit to prospective buyers, prospective tenants, lenders, repairmen or contractors;
  • when the tenant has vacated the premises and their right to occupy has been terminated by surrender or abandonment; or
  • under a court order allowing for entry. [Calif. Civil Code §1954]

A property manager’s or landlord’s entry into a tenant’s unit out of concern for the safety of the property or other tenants constitutes as an emergency. The property manager may properly enter the unit without the tenant’s knowledge and permission for the limited purpose of dealing with the emergency. [People v. Plane (1969) 274 CA2d 1]

First notice procedure for “For Sale” periods

A residential or commercial property occupied by a tenant is called a rental. Real estate brokers who list rentals for sale need to inform the seller of the seller’s right to coordinate prospective buyer inspections of the listed property.

These inspections are completed using one of two notice procedures.

The first notice procedure works the same as the 24-hour written notice of entry for repairs. Here, the residential landlord, before proceeding with any maintenance, services, or entries for prospective buyers, gives the tenant a written notice of the landlord’s intent to enter. [See RPI Form 567]

The written notice gives the tenant a reasonable time period to prepare for the entry.

24-hour notice is considered reasonable, unless extenuating circumstances known to the landlord or their property managers, such as the tenant’s vacation or business trip, indicate the tenant needs more time to receive the notice and prepare for the entry.

Service of a 24-hour notice of entry in advance of the entry is accomplished by any one of the following methods:

  • handing a written notice to the tenant personally;
  • handing the notice to an occupant of the unit who appears of suitable age and discretion to relay the notice to the tenant; or
  • posting the notice on, near or under the usual entry door so it will be discovered by the tenant.

Alternatively, the notice may be mailed, but at least six days is to pass after mailing before the intended entry may be scheduled to occur. [CC §1954]

Second notice procedure for “For Sale” periods

The second notice procedure to the 24-hour written notice is a 120-day “For Sale” notice.

The “For Sale” notice may be given to the tenant personally or by regular mail at any time after the seller enters into a listing to sell the property. [See RPI Form 116]

The “For Sale” notice commences a 120-day “for sale” period. During this period, the seller or the seller’s agent may enter the unit during normal business hours with a prospective buyer to conduct an inspection of the unit.

Prior to the time for entry during the “for sale” period, the seller or the seller’s agent is to give the tenant no less than 24 hours advance notice by phone or in person of the actual entry date and time. [CC §1954(d)(2)]

The actual entry is conditioned on the seller’s agent leaving a written note in the unit regarding the entry and completion of the inspection. [See RPI Form 116-1]

Here, the seller and their agent hold the exclusive right of giving the 24-hour notice by phone during the 120-day period following service of the written “For Sale” notice.

The buyer’s agent needs to arrange for the seller’s agent to give the 24-hour advance telephonic notice. The buyer’s agent does not have, and may not be given, the authority to notify the tenant (unless they are a dual agent).

Seller’s agent and seller duties on “For Sale” periods

When the seller’s agent takes a listing to sell property occupied by a tenant, they need to inform the seller of the two available notice-of-entry procedures and provide guidance on their use. [See RPI Form 567 and Form 116]

Once determined as to which notice procedure the seller is willing to authorize in the listing agreement, the information is shared with the buyer’s agent.

The seller’s agent reports information regarding a buyer’s access to the listed property in multiple listing service (MLS) listings under “showing instructions.”

For example, the seller’s agent may write: “Call the listing office (LO) or listing agent (LA) to arrange for a 24-hour telephonic (or alternative written) notice of entry.”

Once informed of the procedure for entry and inspection, some sellers may restrict inspections of the property to only qualified buyers who have entered into a purchase agreement. Thus, sellers might not allow prospective buyers to preview the premises until they have entered into a purchase agreement and been financially qualified as capable buyers, proving them to be bona fide.

Analyzing the right to enter and exhibit unit to buyers

A seller of a rental property uses the Right to Enter and Exhibit Unit to Buyers form published by Realty Publications, Inc. (RPI) when the rental property is listed for sale and before showing rented units to prospective buyers. The form advises the tenants the property is “For Sale” and that during the next 120 days the seller or their agent intend to enter their unit on 24 hours’ telephonic notice and show it prospective buyers. [See RPI Form 116]

The Right to Enter and Exhibit Unit to Buyers contains:

  • Facts, including:
    • the date the underlying rental or lease agreement was entered into;
    • the identity of the tenant;
    • the identity of the landlord; and
    • the legal description of the real estate [See RPI Form 116 §1];
  • Notices to the tenant, including:
    • a notice that the premises the tenant occupies is placed on the real estate market “For Sale” [See RPI Form 116 §2];
    • that during a 120-day period following the date of the notice, the landlord or their authorized agent for the sale of the property may need to enter the tenant’s unit during normal business hours for the purpose of showing the premises for review by prospective buyers [See RPI Form 116 §3];
    • that at least 24 hours prior to entry for the described purpose, the tenant will be given telephonic or personal notice of the landlord and agent’s intent to enter the unit [See RPI Form 116 §4];
    • that the tenant is not required to be present on the premises during the entry and showing, and that a passkey will be used should the tenant be absent during the entry [See RPI Form 116 §5];
    • that on departing the premises, the landlord or their agent will leave a written note identifying themselves and indicating they have entered and completed their showing of the unit to buyers [See RPI Form 116-1See RPI Form 116 §6]; and
  • Signatures: the landlord and their agent enter their identities, contact information, the date of the notice and provide their signatures. [See RPI Form 116]
Revision history

Form navigation page updated 07-2022.

Form last revised 2016.