Solving the problem of securing your vacant land for non-resident owners

One of the challenges owners of vacant land face is securing their property when they aren’t around to keep an eye on things. Common issues that can arise are:

A. Dumping of trash on the property

B. Unauthorized hunting, shooting, riding ATV’s

C. Growing of illegal crops

D. General trespassing / squatting

Any of these items could leave a land owner open to liability, expensive cleanup costs or loss of property value.

What’s an owner who lives out of town (or out of State) to do?

You can’t stop all trespassing, but there are a few steps anyone can take to make their property less inviting to wanderers.

1. Clearly mark property lines (a fence works best), and post “No Trespassing” signs strategically around the border.

2. Install a gate with a lock at the main access point, add a no trespassing sign with your name and contact information, this will let the neighbors know who to call if they see something suspicious going on.  2b. Make a contact with an adjoining property owner, let them know that you would appreciate a call if they see anything that doesn’t look right going on at your property. Most folks don’t mind keeping an eye out, especially if it is next door.

3. Make contact with a local real estate agent that works in the area, and specializes in land, ask them to ride by and check on things at your property when they are in the area. This might sound a little like a sales pitch, but I’ve been doing this for folks for years, (without obligation) and it gives them added peace of mind that someone is their eyes and ears locally.

If you do at least one or two of these steps you will greatly reduce the chances of uninvited “guests” helping themselves to the use of your property.

Sidney Stidham, Broker Realworks LLC