Lynn launching property reinspection

August 8, 2016

FILE PHOTO
Lynn City Hall.

LYNN — The city’s Assessing Department has contracted with Marblehead-based Patriot Properties to perform local property re-inspections to update assessors’ records.

Under state law, property subject to taxation in Massachusetts is required to be assessed at full and fair market value. As part of this assessment process, local assessors visit and verify or update information on properties every 10 years.

Chief Assessor Peter Caron said the project will take about a year to conduct and includes home visits to verify property information included in city files. Patriot Properties representatives will also identify any property features that are inconsistent with the data in the assessing records.

Specifically, assessors will look for changes in exterior features, including decks or porches, garages or sheds, or the improvement or deterioration of the condition of the property as compared to the condition in the assessment records.

They will also note any detrimental land conditions not reflected in the records. In addition, they will try to inspect the interior of the property to verify interior features such as heating system types, number of bathrooms, flooring and other details.

All inspectors carry picture identification and will also have a letter of authorization from the city. Property owners can also contact City Hall to confirm any inspector’s status. They are not allowed to enter any property except in the presence of an adult.

This is especially important in Lynn where many homes are owned by a single or two working parents. The city said they welcome the cooperation of property owners in allowing the inspection of their property, as it promotes equitable and fair property taxation. But no owner is obligated to allow anyone into their home. Still, absent an interior inspection, inspectors will make reasonable estimates as to the interior features and condition of the property.

The project will start on Wednesday, Aug. 10, and focus in the next several weeks on Ward 1 and the Fay Estate. Inspectors will start at the Lynnfield line and work their way toward Wyoma Square and Western Avenue.

Later this fall, inspectors will canvas Pine Hill followed by those neighborhoods in

West Lynn west of Western Avenue. By the spring, inspections will continue starting east of Western Avenue along the Swampscott line and move gradually across the city toward the Saugus River over the spring and summer of 2017.

Please note that the above schedule applies to residential properties only. Inspection of commercial properties and condominiums will occur throughout the city over the program period.

Any questions by residents and property owners can be directed to the assessing staff at 781-586-6702, or emailed to board member Chris Gaeta at cgaeta@lynnma.gov.