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Defending Tax Appeals – Do Not let the School District into your home or onto your property.

If you are involved in an Allegheny County residential property tax appeal, there is the possibility that you will receive a letter from the school district asking to enter your property or even worse, enter your home. Before allowing this overt governmental intrusion, you need to understand your rights, the risks and the consequences.

First, the government (i.e. the school district) has no legal right to enter onto your property, let alone gain entrance into your home for the sole purpose of raising your property taxes. Any request should either be ignored or politely declined. School Districts will ask for entrance to your home or property for the purpose of obtaining an expert appraisal report justifying an increase to your Allegheny County property assessment.

I have never heard nor seen a school district order an appraisal that concluded that a property was overvalued. Some property owners worry that if they decline the request, it will make the school district attorney angry and thus harm their case. The opposite is true.

The advantage of denying access may matter most at the time of trial. If you deny access, but have your own expert examine your interior, you may have a strategic advantage on the battle of experts at the time of trial, if necessary.

If you the school district is asking to gain entrance, and you have questions, call us for a free consulatation concerning your Allegheny County property tax appeal at 412.802.6666.

Written by
Noah Paul Fardo
Noah Paul Fardo, Esq. is a Pennsylvania trial lawyer and the managing partner of Flaherty Fardo, LLC. His legal practice focuses in medical malpractice, personal injury, business litigation, and property tax appeals.