New Hampshire Home Inspections - Media Photo
Phil Smith is a homeowner in the town of Hollis, N.H. After he refused to allow searches of his family's home by government-hired inspectors, he lost his right to appeal his assessment—even though he wanted to appeal the assessed value of his land, not his home.
Every person’s home is his castle, unless he lives in New Hampshire. Under that state’s home inspection law, local government officials can obtain a warrant to search the home of any person who refuses to allow a government-hired inspector to conduct an interior inspection for the purpose of property-tax assessment. If officials don’t want to take the time to get a warrant, they don’t have to. That’s because the law punishes anyone who refuses to “consent” to a search of his home by eliminating his right to appeal his assessment.
In short, the statute puts Granite State homeowners between a rock and a hard place: no matter what they do, government employees can either force their way into their homes or punish them if they refuse to consent to a search by an inspector.