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Old 03-20-2018, 07:00 AM
Location: Over yonder a piece
3,758 posts, read 4,293,189 times
Reputation: 5977


You can always talk to them (tactfully versus aggressively) and let them know you discovered they were "accidentally" using your land while investigating possibly putting up a fence around your lot. Tell them you are currently getting quotes but wanted to give them time to remove their items from your property before a fence goes up.

Go ahead and pay to have a survey done and make it look like action is being taken towards putting up a fence, and then, as someone else suggested, put up temporary posts and wires with "no trespassing" signs on it so they know where their property ends and yours begins.

Consider putting up a simple split rail fence if you don't want something too expensive or oppressive back there. Add mesh or chicken wire to make it less easy for kids to go through it. And install cameras (that record to DVR) just to keep an eye on things back there.
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:03 AM
5,822 posts, read 3,298,927 times
Reputation: 13576
Originally Posted by GotHereQuickAsICould View Post
The dirt bike trail needs to be dealt with immediately. Any injuries on your property would fall on your homeowners' insurance.

If you are sure of your property boundaries (and if not, get a survey pronto), and have not spoken to your neighbors in over a decade, now's the time to speak up.

Let each one know, by either a personal contact or a registered letter that you will be putting up a fence and they will need to move their belongings, sheds, etc., by a certain date.

Then follow up.

Even if you just string up a wire and staple No Trespassing signs to trees, put up something to make it clear where their property ends and yours begins.

A registered letter would be best so you have a record that they were notified. Also stringing a wire.
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:14 AM
Location: NC
6,081 posts, read 7,027,359 times
Reputation: 12054
Have a surveyor come out and mark the lot lines. You do not need a full survey, and if you have an old survey you can see who did it and they will be the most reasonably priced. Then as others recommended, place permanent survey markers, either in the soil, or as posts (T-posts are easy), or at the very least, if there are still trees there, mark the trees that are on the lot line. You can mark the trees with a spot of paint at eye level. Tell neighbor A you did it because you thought neighbor B might be encroaching, and vice versa, lol.
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:14 AM
Location: Rochester, WA
3,828 posts, read 2,050,555 times
Reputation: 10562
As others said... I would make sure you know where the property lines are... If you're not sure, it may require a survey.

When you bring it to the neighbor, I would just be matter-of-fact about it, they may not understand where the property lines are. I would approach it as a mistake or misunderstanding before assuming it's malicious, in the spirit of trying to work out an amicable neighbor relationship going forward.

As others said... don't let it continue if you don't intend to give them permanent access.
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:28 AM
980 posts, read 280,378 times
Reputation: 1430
One day I was commenting...I tell ya, dirt bikers, it's like they're addicted, they'll do anything to ride that extra mile...and another and another. Then I was told yes, it's a thing. Some become mindless about quiet time and property rights.

Anyway, all the good stuff, important stuff is already here.

I do wonder why two of your neighbors? I guess you mean owners of two separate properties.

Are the encroaching properties on different sides of you or next to each other?

They may have spoken with each other and are doing this deliberately in preparation for any future change of hands.

How big is your property?
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Old 03-20-2018, 08:04 AM
33,035 posts, read 12,497,258 times
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Though I do wonder about cutting trees down on your property, building a shed, etc. until proven otherwise, best to assume it is all merely a misunderstanding of where the property line runs.

Approach in a friendly manner that you want to clear up any misunderstanding. Be clear that the dirt bike riding needs to cease immediately for liability reasons.

You can say what you told us, that you plan to sell in the not too distant future and want to be sure the boundaries are clear for potential buyers.

As I understand it, in many areas you need to have your property boundaries clearly market with no trespassing signs if you want to report anyone for trespassing.

Building a fence, even a split rail fence could run into some bucks. Could be a round-to-it project. But running a wire with plastic survey tape ties should not run into too much money.

Is the problem that your neighbors have much smaller properties so use part of yours?
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Old 03-20-2018, 08:11 AM
314 posts, read 244,928 times
Reputation: 549
Having dealt with something similar recently, I'd second the approach them firmly but agreeably. Stick to the facts, and just say you'd prefer that the property lines are respected.

In my case, that approach did not work. I then installed T posts every 10 feet down the property line. That prompted a very aggressive reaction from the neighbor. Evidently he thought that his family wandering around our property and taking things was "no big deal", and we were in the wrong. I told him to pound sand, and that was that.

Speak softly, but be prepared to bring out the big stick if needed. You gotta nip this in the bud now, because the longer you let it happen the more you become the "bad guy" who's acting unreasonably in their minds.
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Old 03-20-2018, 08:57 AM
6,359 posts, read 7,324,210 times
Reputation: 10807
Originally Posted by historyfan View Post
The other thing is you are liable for any injury occurring on your property- with permission or not.
Not necessarily. Most states have recreational trespass laws which limit the liability of owners of natural land. Provided that man-made "improvements" aren't the cause of action--and that no attractive nuisances are involved--it's a much higher bar for someone to make a claim. Of course, that doesn't stop someone from suing, but it makes it more difficult for them to prevail in court.

Originally Posted by Harpaint View Post
A registered letter would be best so you have a record that they were notified. Also stringing a wire.
Stringing a single wire might be the best way to undo any legal protections that an owner might have. It might also be considered gross negligence on the part of the owner if a kid riding a dirt bike were to hit the wire. There was a case a few years ago in northern Michigan where a landowner had strung a wire across an access road. Come winter time, after flagging either fell off or wasn't seen, a snowmobiler was traveling down the road and didn't notice the wire. The results weren't pretty and it led to a wrongful death lawsuit.
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Old 03-20-2018, 09:11 AM
314 posts, read 244,928 times
Reputation: 549
Excellent point on the wire. Not a good idea if you are only stringing it across the path.

If I were to go that route, I'd go around the entire property and build it as a legal fence. In my state, that's 4 wires.
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Old 03-20-2018, 09:12 AM
10,265 posts, read 6,495,798 times
Reputation: 10842
IF you want to handle it delicately just tell them you think they made a mistake and it's on your land. The dirt track needs to be blocked off 2 posts with a rope, It that's gone fortify it. Unless you want to give your land away to people who use it without permission. They are sneaky and will lay claim to it once they can.

i would also find out these owners info from public land records and do a criminal and civil search to see what kinds of people you are deal with.
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