After suspending certain services to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Harris County Appraisal District is now scheduling in-person and remote protest hearings, according to a June 16 news release.

According to the release, Harris County property owners who have filed a protest that has not yet been settled will soon receive information about their options for scheduling a hearing.

"After suspending in-building services to the public, we are giving the property owner an option for either a remote or in-person meeting with an appraiser or hearing with the Appraisal Review Board," HCAD Chief Appraiser Roland Altinger said in a statement. "We want the property owner to make the choice that is most comfortable for them."

While remote hearings are expected to be scheduled more quickly, property owners wanting to schedule in-person hearings should expect delays due to social distancing requirements and limited meeting space.

"The appraisal district has made changes that we believe will help keep property owners and employees safe by preventing the spread of viruses," Altinger said. "These changes include separate visitor and employee entrances, larger hearing rooms and Plexiglass panels, as well as restrictions for people entering the building."

Additionally, during in-person hearings property owners will have their temperatures taken by HCAD security officers before entering the building, no additional family members or friends will be allowed to accompany the property owner and masks are strongly encouraged. Property owners with a fever will not be allowed to enter and any hearings affected by this will be rescheduled, the release states.

"HCAD has been operating efficiently for the past several months with most employees working from home, so we encourage property owners to continue to use all the electronic options available to submit documents, applications or questions," Altinger said.

For more information about scheduling an in-person or remote protest hearing through HCAD, call 713-957-7800 or email [email protected].