Home owners have rights
The town of Longmeadow recently announced plans for the inspection of taxable property including the interior of all residences. The purpose of the inspection will be to look for improvements which might contribute to an increase in the assessed valuation of the property. Such things as a swimming pool, an out building, a finished basement, added toilet facilities, or an increase in the living space will be of particular interest to the inspectors. The wording of the newspaper article did not preclude the likelihood that additional items might qualify for particular interest.
The article also failed to mention that the intended inspection could be carried out only if the inspector receives the written consent of the resident to do so. Each inspector will carry credentials and will present a written consent form to the resident for signature. Residents are not required to sign the consent form nor are they required to allow inspection of their property.
Residents of Longmeadow should be aware that the right to refuse entry to your home is guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. You should also be aware that any improvements made that required a permit form the town have already been inspected. Those improvements are already part of the town records and are probably already included in the Town Assessor's description of your property. A copy of the description of your property is available at the Town Hall and on line.
Philip B. Fregeau
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