What is a Fractional Homestead?
A fractional homestead results when a homesteaded parcel is owned by more than one person, but not all of the owners are related and/or not all of them occupy the property.
There are three circumstances in which a fractional homestead can occur:
If there are non-related co-owners who do not occupy the property
If a married person owns and occupies the property as their primary residence, but their spouse does not
- The owner or owners that occupy the property must complete the Application for Homestead Classification (pdf)/(Word)
- Any and all owners that do not occupy the property must complete the Non-Occupant Co-Owner Form (pdf)
(also known as "spousal homestead")
If there has been a failure to provide complete information on a homestead application
For a situation in which a married couple live in separate properties, a special spousal homestead may be granted if the non-occupant spouse's absence is due to one of the following reasons:
- Marriage dissolution proceedings are pending.
- The spouses are legally separated.
- One of the spouse's employment or self-employment location requires that spouse to have a separate homestead. To qualify for this, both of the following statements must be true:
- The distance from one spouse's place of employment to the other's must be at least 50 miles.
- The distance between each homestead must be at least 50 miles.
- Personal circumstances causing the spouses to live separately (not including the intent to obtain to homestead classifications for the purposes of evading or unlawfully reducing property taxes).
The assessor requires proof of any qualifying exemption. You will be asked to provide one or more of the following types of proof:
- Paperwork disclosing legal separation or dissolution proceedings. For example:
- A letter from an attorney attesting to marriage dissolution
- A copy of a court document attesting to your legal separation
- The nature and location of each spouse's employment or self-employment. For example:
- A W-2 form (with personal information, such as Social Security numbers, removed or blacked-out)
- A written statement on letterhead paper from your employer that includes your employment address, phone number, and dates of employment
Failure on the part of the applicant to fully complete the homestead application will result in a fractional homestead classification of the residence.
Failure on the part of the applicant to provide the requested proof to determine homestead status will also result in a denial or a fractional homestead determination of the residence.
Making false statements on any homestead application or form is a gross misdemeanor. Minnesota Statutes, section 609.41, states that anyone giving false information in order to avoid or reduce their tax obligations is subject to a fine of up to $3,000 and/or up to one year in prison.
In addition, the property owner may be required to pay all tax which is due on the property based on its correct property class, plus a penalty equal to the same amount.
Homestead Determination-Minnesota Statute § 273.124 ; Special Rules