Property Line and Fence Laws in Michigan
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed December 01, 2017
A dispute with a neighbor about issues like property lines, fences, and trees can make life difficult. Unfortunately, these sorts of disagreements are common enough that most states have passed laws addressing them. Read on to learn more about property line and fence laws (including tree-trimming rules) in Michigan.
Michigan Property Line and Fence Laws at a Glance
Michigan statues contain provisions related to building and maintaining a fence along a property boundary. Statutory law also addresses a neighbor's right to trim tree branches overhanging property lines. Over the years, Michigan courts have shaped the law regarding "spite fences," which are fences built for no legitimate purpose other than to annoy a neighbor.
Michigan law also has empowered local governments to resolve disputes involving fences efficiently. The township board in each Michigan town is authorized to appoint a "fence viewer," whose responsibilities include determining responsibility for cost of construction, assessing boundaries, and resolving disputes related to damage to fences.
The following chart provides more information about Michigan laws governing property lines, fences, and tree trimming.
Statutes and Cases
Boundary Fences: Michigan Compiled Laws Section 43.53
Spite Fences: Kuzniak v. Kuzniak, 107 Mich 444, 445-446 (1895)
Tree Trimming: Michigan Complied Laws Section 750.382
Boundary Fence Rules
Spite Fence Rules
Tree Trimming Rules
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Related Property Line, Fence, and Tree Resources
- Property Boundaries, Lines and Neighbors FAQ
- Fencing Laws and Your Neighbors: FAQs
- Neighbor Fence Disputes
- Conflicts Involving Trees and Neighbors
- Neighbor Disputes: Trees
Neighbor Dispute? Find a Michigan Real Estate Attorney
If you are experiencing conflict with a neighbor over a boundary line, fence, or tree, you know how frustrating the process can be. In addition to being familiar with the laws of your state, a legal professional familiar with such issues will be able to recommend a course of action. Find a Michigan real estate lawyer near you to get started.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
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