Land, whether in a remote town or a busy city, is among the most valuable assets anyone could possess. Land, for one, does not depreciate. Instead, it continues to rise in terms of market value year over year. This is one reason why buying real estate properties is one of the best moves any person could do.
However, given the huge monetary value of lands, opportunists couldn’t help themselves but to try encroaching upon other peoples’ properties and eat away at their lands one square inch at a time. If you own land and you’re not vigilant enough, you could wake up one day to find that a big chunk of your property is being claimed by another person.
If this happens, you have to prepare yourself for a costly, time-consuming, and stressful legal battle to regain possession of parts or the entirety of your land. You should also be ready to face other dire effects, such as your property’s title being negatively affected in terms of its marketability.
These legal consequences all the more stress the need for you as a property owner to do everything in your power to protect your land against all forms of encroachment from anyone with a plan to invade your rightful possession.
Fortunately, you’re not at all helpless since there are ways you can do to stop dead any attempts at property takeover. These methods would require you to keep your eyes open for visual signs of trespassing and even spend some cash to protect your land through modern means.
Here are five tricks to stop encroachment into your property:
Commission a land survey
Hiring a professional land surveyor to do a thorough survey of your entire property among the best ways of protecting your land from intentional and accidental encroachment. A land survey typically involves the use of digital equipment that accurately and quickly measures a property’s entire territorial scope relative to surrounding properties.
Through this survey, you’ll know exactly where your property ends and begins, so it would be hard for other property owners to lay claim on your land. A land survey may cost a considerable amount of money, but if it means stopping in its tracks dubious property claims and attempts at encroachment, then it’s 100 percent worth the investment you’ll make.
Among the top deterrents to potential encroachment are some good old physical barriers: a concrete perimeter fence, walls, or shrubbery/trees that line the entire property line. Of these three, walls are easily the most expensive option since you’d have to spend on the excavation for post foundation, concrete hollow blocks and cement, and iron/steel for reinforcement.
The next option in terms of affordability is a perimeter fence, which can be made of different materials like wrought iron, barbed wires, or wood. If you want natural protection around your property, then trees and shrubs will do the trick. They are inexpensive, eco-friendly, and aesthetically pleasing since they enhance your property’s curb appeal several times over. They could also make your outdoors more inviting and relaxing aside from serving as physical deterrents to intruders.
Post warning signs
Sometimes, a warning sign announcing in bold letters that a property is private and that intruders would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law is enough to keep potential trespassers think twice. Warning signs cost cheap and are easy to install, so they should form part of your infrastructure to protect your property against encroachment.
Have a strategically worded residential contract
In the state of New York, attorneys and property managers typically draft, on their clients’ behalf, strategically worded residential contracts that effectively allow only a foot of encroachment into their clients’ property.
These fine prints are typically included in contract riders to fend off potential claims for adverse possession where an intruder could actually file for a legal claim on land that he or she merely encroached upon. This is a critical thing to remember since there are quite a lot of title companies that treat properties with a proven case of encroachment exceeding one foot as unmarketable.
Call the police
This is usually the last resort for property owners who are aware of a conscious (or unconscious) effort of other entities to encroach upon their property line. If you know that encroachment is impending or had already started, you could phone the local police to alert them about the situation. Just be sure to make the police officers understand that you deem the action as trespassing, so they’ll have a legal right to make an arrest (if needed) based on such a premise.
These five tricks should go a long way in steering clear of potential intrusions into your property.