Boards, depending upon state law, are generally permitted to access an owner’s unit in the event of an emergency, which would include, but not specifically be limited to, situations where damage to the common elements is imminent and life safety issues. So, if a violation report has been registered with the board of a life safety issue or of possible damage to the common elements, the board arguably would have the right to access the unit in question.
Entering into a party’s unit without express permission is always problematic, though; so, I would recommend that if the board is informed and believes that a violation has occurred that it should request in writing permission to enter. If entry is refused, unless the Board is informed and believes that a life safety issue exists which is imminent, I would recommend that the board institute a declaratory judgment action to request the court to declare that the association is entitled to entry, which the unit owner in question has denied.
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP
BNC Bank Corporate Center, Suite 300
3751 Robert M. Grissom Parkway
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577