Government access to my home.

If the town wishes to inspect my home to re-assess my tax liability, do I have to allow them access to my home?

Asked on May 22, 2009 under Real Estate Law, New York


S.J.H., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You do not have to allow anyone from the Town or any governement agency into your house without a search warrant. In fact by letting an officail into the house you are in essence giving them the authority to right any summones for anything that they may see while in your house. This could lead to building violations or criminal charges if they see anything illegal in plain sight. The town uses square footage to determine tax liability and this can be done externally or by the use of tax maps and filed certificates of occupancy or permits. It is unlikely that you serve any rela purpose by letting the town come into the house. However, by all means allow them to look aroung the house and take any measurements that may need and provide them with any necessary documentation that they may ask for.

J.V., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No you are never required to allow them access to your home. However the purpose of such an inspection is to reassess the value for purposes of your tax class and the assessed value to be taxed

if you refuse them access than you may be reassessed at a higher value than you should have been. You also as a citizen are meant to cooperate. If the government pursues this they can be ranted the right to enter but for this purpose it should never get to that point if all they are doing is reassessing tax assessments

So just beware you may end up paying a hgher amount in taxes if you leave it open without allowing them to enter

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