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Property Line and Fence Laws in Minnesota

Property line and boundary issues are less common than they used to be due to advanced records and fairly defined property lines. You can often avoid property line disputes by conducting a survey and thoroughly examining the deed prior to purchase. However, not all disagreements can be avoided. Disputes regarding fence building and tree trimming occur throughout the nation, including in the state of Minnesota. These disputes can cause tension between neighbors and can impact real estate values, which is why it's important to learn ways that you can resolve these disputes under Minnesota law.

Fence Laws in Minnesota

A major source of strife in neighbor conflicts involves disputes over fences. A partition fence is a fence on or very close to the boundary line separating adjoining properties. This differs from a division fence which does not have a shared-cost obligation. Minnesota's partition fence laws apply when neighbors disagree on issues such as the need for a fence and the appropriate division of the costs of constructing, repairing, and maintaining a fence. Minnesota's laws also provide for local enforcement and for the establishment of fence viewers that administer and enforce the law.

Tree Trimming Laws in Minnesota

The issue of tree trimming is another subject area ripe with controversy and one which can result in neighborhood disputes. You can recover actual damages if someone destroys or chops down your tree in Minnesota. Total destruction of the tree is not necessary in order to obtain such a recovery. You can also recover damages so long as the tree has been actually injured in some way, not just altered aesthetically.

Minnesota Property Line and Fence Laws at a Glance

The chart below provides a summary of state laws related to property line and fence laws in Minnesota, including links to important code sections.


Partition Fences- Expenses, Equal Shares, Adjoining Owners

If all or part of the land is improved/used and one or both of the owners wants a fence, then the occupants must build and maintain the partition fence in equal shares.

Failure to Build, Rebuild, Repair; Repair Costs

If one party fails to build, rebuild, or repair a partition fence and they are required to do so, then the other party has a right to complain to the fence viewers.

If one party makes repairs acceptable to the fence viewers, then that party can recover repair costs from the adjoining owner.

Tree Damages

If someone cuts down or otherwise injuries a property owner's tree, then that person is liable to the owner for damages.

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.

Property Line and Fence Laws in Minnesota: Related Resources

Legal Help for Your Minnesota Property Dispute

Neighbor disputes are problems that you want to handle as quickly as possible to maintain harmony in your neighborhood. If you're facing conflicts with your neighbors involving property line, fence, or tree trimming issues, then you should consider talking with an experienced real estate attorney in your area before taking your next steps.

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