Property Inspections To Begin in April


Photo: Mark Mox/ (CC BY 2.0 DEED)


The Town of Amherst in undergoing a cyclical inspection review, as required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts [MGL Chapter 59]. This program requires all assessing jurisdictions to update their records by inspecting all properties within a ten (10) year cycle.  The cyclical review is for all types of properties including single family, two family, condos, commercial industrial, and apartments.

To be in full compliance the town will inspect all properties that have not been visited recently.  Our inspectors will have identification.

This inspection is designed to provide us with accurate information on the condition of the property.  Such information is essential to establishing fair, equitable, and uniform values throughout the town.  To successfully complete our inspection program in a timely manner, the Board of Assessors must rely on and request your cooperation.

Inspectors will be working throughout Town beginning in April through the end of the calendar year (through December 2024).

Inspectors will visit the property and if we find no one home, or arrive at a time that is truly inconvenient for you, we will complete an exterior inspection and measure the building. We will leave a call back card as a reminder to call our office to schedule an interior inspection.  The interior inspection should take fifteen (15) minutes or less.  Failure to allow a complete inspection will force the Board of Assessors to estimate the interior condition of the property.

For more information:

Please reach out to the Assessors office with any questions via phone or email.
413-259-3024 or

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5 thoughts on “Property Inspections To Begin in April

  1. I have lived in my house for more than 25 years. To my knowledge, this is the first time the town has intended to send an inspector to check out its insides. Have I missed something? Is this a new mandate from the Commonwealth? How is this mandatory inspection different from the proposed rental unit inspection that people are arguing about in another recent Indy post, or is it? This inquiring reader wants to know.

  2. It is confusing, but I believe that these are separate inspections for separate purposes. The rental registration plan is to ensure the safety and habitability of residences that are rented. The inspections detailed above are for purposes of assessment, to ascertain the correct value of the building for real estate tax purposes. The former will focus on rental units only; the latter appears to include all types of properties that have not been visited within the last ten years (many property cards will have the note DRIVE BY FIELD REVIEW, which would indicate that the property’s interior has not been seen).

  3. Denise, I’m sorry that I wasn’t clear. It is not the purpose of the inspection that I question, but rather the home invasion aspect of the comprehensive town inspection described in this article being similar to the home invasion aspect of the proposed rental inspection law. And do you know, has this kind of internal inspection ever been done before? Our family have lived in the same house for 29 years and this is a first for us.

  4. I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to your question. I did look through MGL Chapter 59 and didn’t really find any further information. I did find this useful page from the town of Hanson: It appears that it is the Department of Revenue that requires updated records on a ten-year cycle, for purposes of taxation. If someone, for example, has done a lot of updating to their house, that could mean a substantial increase in the house’s valuation, with an accompanying increase in taxes. If those improvements managed to fly under the town’s radar, the house’s valuation would be lower than it should be, so an actual physical visit and view of the interior would remedy that. Why you haven’t had an assessor visit in nearly 30 years would be a question for the town to answer. But it also raises the additional point of: If these visits, required by the DOR, have not been happening, then how will requiring even more physical visits to residences ever get done?

  5. I can’t remember in my more than sixty years in town that the assessors have every systematically inspected the interiors of houses in the re-evaluation process. In my six years as Assessor in the 1990’s we only entered houses if an appeal for abatement was filed. My guess is the incredibly high sale prices for seemingly ordinary houses over the last few years may have triggered interior inspections. Some houses may have received serious up-grading while others haven’t.
    It is difficult for me to understand these outlandish sale prices except by the rules of supply and demand. If other rules are operating perhaps the Assessors can uncover them leading to fair and equitable taxation. BUT, at the same time, it gives the Town a foot in the door, an opportunity to view both owner-occupied and renter-occupied units for sub-standard living conditions which might indicate the very minimal requirements of the Building and Sanitary codes are not being met. It could satisfy the concerns of some members of the Town Council and the public to know whether code violations are systemic in the town or just in a few well-known–but not addressed–properties for more than ten years.

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