Minneapolis Property Line information Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The City of Minneapolis property line information is limited to lot dimensions only. If you wish to find your lot dimensions go the Hennepin County Property Information web page. Enter your address then click the "View Map" button.

The information below is intended to assist you in locating your property lines. All information is general in nature and should not be considered as legal advice or as a substitute for a survey.

Contract a Registered Land Surveyor for professional service in locating your property line and/or an Attorney for legal advice regarding your rights as a property owner.

The Public Works Department does not have surveys showing your private property lines. City staff cannot come to your house to locate your property line or take sides in a dispute over a private property line. Property line disputes between property owners are a legal issue and are not regulated by City Ordinances.

What is a survey stake?
When land is surveyed, metal stakes, also known as "irons" or "monuments", marks the corners of the lot. These markers are typically a hollow, metal pipe, approximately 1/2 inch in diameter and 1.5 feet long. Newer stakes may have plastic caps on top or have the tip painted with a bright color.

Where are they located?
When survey stakes are originally set, they are placed level to the ground at the corners of the original lot boundaries. After many years, the stakes may become buried due to landscaping and grade changes. Most are buried a few inches deep; some may be as deep as a foot. Renting a metal detector can be helpful in locating the stakes.

What if I cannot find my survey stake?
It may have been removed or relocated by previous owners. The stake may also be buried beneath retaining walls, paved driveways, hedges, etc.

Does finding my survey stake guarantee the location of my property line?
Possibly. Only a licensed land surveyor can determine your actual property line. Sometimes, survey stakes have been moved or removed. It is also possible that the original lot has been subdivided and new survey stakes have been inserted in addition to the older, original stakes.

When would I need a survey?
You may need a survey for new home construction, building additions, garages and other major projects. The Building Inspections Office or the Planning Department, depending on the type of project, would make that decision. Home improvement contractors typically expect the homeowner to assume the responsibility for locating the lot lines. You may also need a survey to provide legal evidence if you are involved in a lot line dispute. A survey is the only document that can accurately show your property boundaries.

How do I get my lot surveyed?
A typical residential lot survey costs approximately $700 to $900. It can be more if your land is irregular in shape or has other unusual features. Surveying is a competitive business and you should obtain estimates from several sources. Surveyors are licensed by the State of Minnesota. Look in the Yellow Pages under "Surveyors-Land." While it may seem expensive to hire a surveyor, it may be cheaper than relocating improvements or legal costs caused by encroaching on someone else's property. That is a decision for you to make. For more information on surveys, visit the Minnesota Society of Professional Surveyors website.

What can I do to settle a land boundary dispute?
The Minneapolis Mediation Program offers mediation services that may be useful for private property line disputes. For more information, call (612) 822-9883. If the property owners cannot resolve a dispute, then you may want to contact an attorney to resolve the matter in court.

Who else can I contact?
Most people become interested in locating their property lines when they are planning a home improvement. Below is a list of City offices providing information related to home improvement projects.

Building set back and fence construction requirements, zoning information:

Zoning Office
Public Service Center
250 South Fourth Street, Room 300
Phone: (612) 673-5836

Building permits and retaining wall construction requirements:

Inspections Office
Public Service Center
250 South Fourth Street, Room 300
Phone: (612) 673-5831

Call to check that your contractor is licensed to do business in Minneapolis (They also offer a free booklet "How to Hire a Contractor in Minneapolis."):

Licensing & Consumer Services
City Hall, 350 South Fifth Street, Room 1C
Phone: (612) 673-2080

Issues encroachment permits which allow private structures (fences, retaining walls, etc.) on public right-of-way:

Public Works Right-of-Way Office
City of Lakes Building
309 Second Avenue South, Room 201.
Phone: (612) 673-2403

Last updated Aug 29, 2018



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