You had better beware if your town sends someone out to your house to assess your property value.

You never know what kind of criminal you might be letting literally walk through your front door. Currently, New Jersey does not require background checks for these assessors and two recent cases in South Jersey help illustrate why the checks are probably a good idea.

A home inspector in Palmyra was charged in August with stealing prescription medications from two homes. After several weeks, the borough resumed inspections with new safety conditions imposed on the appraisal firm, including background checks. That move gave Assemblyman Ron Dancer an idea.

Dancer is proposing background checks for all home inspectors assessing property values for a municipality. He plans to introduce legislation this month requiring criminal background checks for any firm or individual contracted by a municipality to conduct revaluations in private homes.

"Personal homes and property deserve respect and we must minimize the risk of theft during revaluations," says Dancer. "When a town sends a contractor into homes, there should be a basic level of precaution to prevent incidents like this."

Dancer thinks the Palmyra situation should serve as a wake-up call and he thinks an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

If background checks are not required, letting a drug thief into your home could be the least of your worries. Dancer asks, "Does that individual have any kind of a background of sexual assaults? Does that individual have a background of breaking and entering or thefts? Could the individual be able to scope out your home for a future B&E?"