Is a homeowners association allowed to enter without permission?

We recently moved into our neighborhood renting a home from private owners. We visited the rental several times before renting and each time the trash can was on the side of the house on a cemented area right next to the gate that goes into the back yard. We have been here for about 2 months now and have had the trash can there since. We came home this afternoon to find a letter on our screen door from the homeowners association and our trash can moved into our back yard. Someone had to have opened the gate, moved the trash can into the back yard, and then closed the gate after leaving. The letter from the homeowners association had a picture of our trash can on the side of the house with a notice that this had to be moved to upkeep with policies the association had. I’m just not sure…..but I don’t believe they are or should be allowed to go onto our property into the back yard to do even such a thing as move a trash can there because it “shouldn’t be there”. We’re pretty upset and don’t want this to happen to others and for the homeowners association to feel like this is okay if it is legally not! What can I do about this??
The letter was addressed to a man believed to be the homeowner not us (who are renting). We are renting from a couple who are the homeowners parents. In other words…the homeowners association believe the trash can was left out by the homeowner.My brother in law who is an ex sheriff said it was against the law because we are renting the property, and said therefore they are trespassing. Whats your opinion, I’m going to check into this further because they shouldn’t be doing this if they aren’t supposed to. From comments on random websites about the homeowners association they sound like they push the owners around when the homeowners do what they are supposed to do. This is a pretty new community. What do you think?

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