Assessor's Trespass Authority

Authority Granted with Notification

2009 Wisconsin Act 68 specifically exempts an assessor and an assessor's staff from liability for trespassing and creates immunity from civil liability. The Act also requires particular posting and notification requirements the Assessor must adhere to.

The trespass law entitles the assessor to enter a property once during an assessment cycle unless the property owner authorizes additional visits. If the property owner denies the assessor access to the property, the assessor must maintain a list of denied entries.

Certain preconditions must be met in order for this special trespass immunity to apply:

  • The reason for the entry must be to make an assessment on behalf of the state or a political subdivision.
  • The entry must be on a weekday during daylight hours, or at another time as agreed upon with the property owner.
  • The assessor's visit must not be more than one hour.
  • The assessor must not open doors, enter through open doors, or look into windows of structures.
  • If the property owner or occupant is not present, the assessor must leave a notice on the principal building providing the owner information on how to contact them.
  • The assessor may not enter the premises if they have received a notice from the property owner or occupant denying them entry.
  • The assessor must leave if the property owner or occupant asks them to leave.

2009 Wisconsin Act 68 also requires that official notification be posted prior to the start of a Citywide Revaluation on its municipal website that a revaluation will occur and the approximate dates of the property revaluation.

The notice shall also describe the authority of an assessor, under Section 943.13-943.15, to enter land.