Most Declarations of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) include a basic “right-of-entry” provision, usually with additional provisions for emergencies. Unfortunately, from time to time a homeowner thinks their lair is their castle and that it cannot be invaded by the beastly homeowner’s association. Many CC & R’s allow for access by the association subject to reasonable notice and with reasonable cause. Far from being an intruder, the association often needs to gain entry in order to perform tasks that directly benefit the unit owner, as well as the association in general. Inspection for water leaks, mold testing, sound attenuation testing, and inspection for and/or repair of construction defects can be necessary in order to perform the association’s duties under the association’s governing documents 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. Furthermore an owner may be held responsible for deteriorating conditions and be found liable to contribute to a repair cost as a result of unreasonable delays.