Unguarded properties have always been frequent targets for vandalism and intrusion, especially if these have been abandoned for quite a long while. If you own an unsecure piece of property, you have to legally prevent trespassing to avoid any municipal violations and, in some cases, injuries to trespassers. You can legally protect yourself by preventing intruders from trespassing on your property with these simple steps.
Perhaps one of the most basic things to do to prevent intruders from getting in your property is to properly secure entry points. If you own an abandoned building, remember to attach plywood to broken windows, and bar the doors to prevent any unauthorized entry. Also, if the doors and gates aren’t broken, remember to lock them all up and use a padlock for the gates. If you own a piece of unguarded land, put a barbed fence around it to prevent intruders from getting in.
Aside from establishing boundaries and securing any points of entry, you will also need to post a “No Trespassing” sign on your property. It is your responsibility to inform the public that unauthorized entry is not allowed, and there is no better way to do this than by putting up these signs in intervals around your property.
Request Patrols from Your Local Authorities
Some trespassers do dangerous or illegal activities in unguarded property and that pretty much makes the neighborhood unsafe for its residents. As the owner of an unsecured building or piece of land, it is your responsibility to inform the local authorities of the situation. Ask if they can check on your property once in a while to see if there are intruders or trespassers. This is a practical request as it is the job of the police to make sure that the neighborhood is safe.
Get a Patrol Dog
Another very effective way in keeping intruders at bay is having a patrol dog in your property, especially if you own a building. Remember to post warning signs around your property though, as such signs serve as warning to would-be trespassers. Warning signs may even be enough to scare some people away. Also, be sure to notify your insurance company that there will be dogs on your property to cover legalities.
Call the Police for Help
If you are in your property and you notice the presence of an intruder, ask him as regards his business in your property. There are homeless people out there who tend to wander about, not noticing that they are already trespassing on a certain property. If they refuse to leave, however, it is time for you to call the police. Once the police have taken care of the trespasser, you have the option of getting a restraining order from your local district attorney. This will make sure that the trespasser does not continue to intrude on your property.
Keep Your Cool
The previously mentioned ways to keep trespassers off are acceptable methods. Unfortunately, there are some property owners who tend to act rashly and fire warning shots in hopes to repel trespassers. As mentioned before, some intruders are not even aware that they are already trespassing, and firing warning shots may leave you vulnerable to lawsuits. So keep your cool and ask trespassers to state their business as to why they are in your property.
Gerard Callaway is a freelance article writer who mainly writes about criminal charges, criminal defense, property management, and state laws. He writes for Elliot Savitz, a criminal defense attorney in Massachusetts.