You may remember the three pigs’ response to the wolf when he demanded entry into their homes in the old children’s story.
Unfortunately, we have seen some cases where a few homeowners seem to consider their homeowners association to be a “wolf” and will not cooperate with the association’s reasonable requests to enter their property when necessary in order to perform the association’s duties under the association’s governing documents. Far from being the bad guy in the story, the association often needs to gain entry in order to perform tasks that directly benefit the individual owner, as well as the association in general. Inspection of water leaks, mold testing, sound attenuation testing, and inspection for and/or repair of construction defects are just some examples. Even though the association’s right to do this may be explicitly spelled out in the association’s governing documents, some homeowners refuse to allow the association entry.
In some cases, a lawsuit must be filed, seeking a court order to allow entry. Attorneys’ fees and costs may be awarded to the association, in addition to the cost for a locksmith, which may become a judgment lien against the owner’s property. And all of these costs could have been avoided by the owner simply opening the door!
Most Declarations of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) include a basic “right-of-entry” provision, usually with additional provisions for emergencies. If your association lacks such a provision, propose to amend your CC&Rs accordingly, and save yourself a lot of huffing and puffing.