I received this letter.


Can I deny them access to the interior? The foot print is all they should need for real estate tax, right?

  • 1
    This is usually dependent on local laws, where are you?
    – littleadv
    Commented Feb 7, 2023 at 20:42
  • 2
    Did you have a building permit in the past year? This reads like a generic letter that suggests only exterior access is needed in general, though if you've built anything that could affect the assessment than further inspection may be necessary.
    – chepner
    Commented Feb 7, 2023 at 20:51
  • 2
    Did you have a contractor remodel some part of the interior of your home? This could affect the assessed value of the home. Commented Feb 7, 2023 at 21:00
  • That never happened where I live, but every state is different. And probably better asked on law.SE.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 6:41

2 Answers 2


Assessors do not have the right to enter your house against your will; the courts have made that completely clear. Usually the town will try to bluff their way in or they will threaten you, for example, by saying that will assume the interior of your house is made out of gold or something unless you let them see it. It's just a bluff. You can ignore the notice.


If they can't enter the home they will assess it by comparison to similar structures and overall shifts in housing value, and to challenge that you probably need to let an assessor in.

Since an actual assessment may produce a lower assessed value than what would otherwise be used, and since assessment is in my experience pretty unbiased, I think trying to fight it would be doing yourself a disservice.

One thing to be aware of: In many areas, the purchase price of a house is taken as a de facto assessment, since if you paid that much it's obviously worth that much. When shopping for houses, take the assessment the previous owner had with an appropriate size grain of salt.

(BTW, usually the interior assessment is a VERY quick overview. They aren't looking at details, they just want to see if anything major is different enough to require reconsidering their first guess. Unless you have something blatently unsafe or illegal, this really is not a big deal.)

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