Relative Homestead


To qualify for a relative homestead the property must be occupied by a qualifying relative of the owner of the property, and must be occupied by January 2 of the assessment year for a full homestead, or on December 1 of the assessment year for a mid-year homestead.

Applications (PDF) must be received by the assessor’s office by December 31st.


To be a qualifying relative of the owner, you must be the owner’s:

  • Aunt
  • Brother
  • Brother-in-law
  • Child
  • Daughter-in-law
  • Grandchild
  • Grandparent
  • Nephew
  • Niece
  • Parent
  • Parent-in-law
  • Sister
  • Sister-in-law
  • Son-in-law
  • Stepchild
  • Stepparent
  • Uncle 

This relationship may be either by blood or by marriage.

In the case of residential homesteads, the owner of the property does not have to be a Minnesota resident. However, the occupying relative must be a Minnesota resident.

Agricultural Homesteads

Agricultural homesteads now have the same definitions of a qualifying relative.

In the case of agricultural homesteads, both the owner and the qualifying relative must be Minnesota residents.

Neither the related occupant nor the owner of the property may claim a property tax refund for the homestead occupied by the relative, unless the property is owned jointly and one of the joint owners occupies the property as their primary residence.

Changing the Relative on the Application

If, at any time, a different relative from the one listed on the application subsequently occupies the property, the owner must notify the assessor within 30 days of the change in occupancy. To apply for a relative homestead, please call the assessor’s office at (507) 375-1205 or stop by the assessor’s office in the Watonwan County Courthouse:
710 Second Avenue S
St. James, MN 56081

All homestead applications must be returned to the assessor’s office by December 31st.