Can I Put A No Trespassing Sign In My Yard? (Do This First)
Sometimes people will trespass on your property on purpose, jeopardizing your safety and creating damage along the way. If you are motivated to start setting boundaries, you have likely asked yourself if you can put a no trespassing sign in your yard.
You are allowed to put a no trespassing sign in your yard in order to define your property’s boundaries and protect private land. It’s even recommended if you want to keep out strangers who could potentially damage your property or hurt themselves.
Although posting a no trespassing sign is a great idea, there are a few things you need to know first. Thankfully, we will let you in on all of these details so you can have confidence when you put up your no trespassing sign. Let’s get into it!
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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!
Thankfully, most areas allow you to put up a no trespassing sign. However, an effective no trespassing sign will need to be bought from a reputable source.
Homemade signs will not be taken as seriously as purchased ones and could be easily damaged by harsh weather and even trespassers.
We recommend buying any of these no trespassing signs from Amazon:
1. No Trespassing Sign – A reflective and sturdy sign that will last
2. 3-Foot No Trespassing Sign – Perfect for sticking straight into your yard
3. Surveillance Sign – When you want to really scare them away
The Details on No Trespassing Signs
Even though posting a no trespassing sign is allowed, you should consider what you want your sign to say and where you want to place it. This will provide the best results for keeping unwanted visitors off your property. Let’s discuss.
What Would Be Considered Trespassing?
Anyone who enters your property without your permission is trespassing. If you catch someone on your property, and they refuse to leave after being told to do so, they can be found guilty of an offense under tort law.
There are three different types of trespassing:
- Trespass to the person – Direct and intentional interference to someone else’s body.
- Trespass to chattels – Intentionally harming moveable objects owned by someone else.
- Trespass to land – Someone enters property without permission.
The trespassing you are dealing with if someone enters your property without permission is ‘trespass to land.’
Of course, situations vary and are not always as serious as others. But, if you believe someone is up to no good on your property, it is more likely you can have them charged with trespassing.
Am I Allowed To Put Up A No Trespassing Sign?
It’s not recommended, but you are always allowed to put up a no trespassing sign on your property. In some states, there are laws about posting no trespassing signs to make them valid.
For example, you may need a sign with red text on a white background and be at least 8″ x 10″ large.
For larger properties, you may even need to consider how many no trespassing signs you need because some states may require you to post them every 500 feet.
Rules for no trespassing signs can vary so you may have to do a little research before posting one.
But, in general, anyone can post a no trespassing sign. Even as a renter, you’re allowed to put up no trespassing signs as long as you don’t try to keep out your landlord or any people hired to work on the property.
Other than that, as a tenant, you have a right to enjoy your rented property in peace.
Where Do I Get No Trespassing Signs?
No trespassing signs are usually sold at your local hardware stores, co-ops, big box stores, and online. They can cost $10-$70 depending on the size and material it’s made of.
The no trespassing sign you purchase should be suitable for the place you plan to post it. For example, if you have a large fence, you do not want a tiny sign.
Instead, choose a sign that will be more visible on the fence, typically a large one.
This no trespassing sign from Amazon is suitable for many different areas including fences and trees. If you do not have a place to post the sign, you can opt for a sign that sticks directly into your yard.
How Do You Properly Display A No Trespassing Sign?
It’s best to post your no trespassing sign somewhere easy to see at approximately eye level with no obstructions. It should stand out with big letters and bright colors that clearly state what acts you do not accept on your property.
There are a few different versions of no trespassing signs with many different variations of words. So how do you know which one you need?
Again, check the laws in your area for proper wording because some states may need you to state what activities you don’t want people doing, like hunting or fishing.
There may even be some laws that require you to state your name and address on the sign.
You might also enjoy our post on How to Deal With Trespassing Neighbors For Good
What Does A No Trespassing Sign Have To Say?
In general, a no trespassing sign doesn’t have to say something specific, unless there are certain activities you don’t want people doing on your property. Ensure that you specify exactly what you want to be prohibited on your land.
For example, your sign can say “no hunting” but if that’s all it says then it’s legal to assume you’re ok with fishermen, ATVers, and snowmobilers using your land.
Or it can simply say “No Trespassing” to keep everyone out. Additionally, it must also be easily readable which is why they come in capitalized, block letters.
If you really want to scare trespassers away, your sign can also say, “violators will be prosecuted,” so people are less likely to risk getting caught on your land.
Where Can I Put My No Trespassing Sign?
A respectable no trespassing sign should be posted somewhere where it can easily be seen at eye level. It can be posted at your property entrance or on a fence. It can also be posted on a tree as long as there are no branches covering it.
No trespassing signs need to serve the purpose of keeping people off your property. Therefore, you need to place the sign in a place that is easily visible.
Most people will place their sign on a fence or tree, as long as it can be easily spotted.
How Far Apart Do No Trespassing Signs Have To Be?
If you’re going to put up several signs, aim to have them about 300-700 feet apart. Regulations regarding no trespassing signs will vary depending on where you live, so it is best to check with your municipality to find out any specifics.
For example, New York State requires that you put your no trespassing signs no more than 660 feet apart.
But, in general, aim to place your no trespassing signs at least 300 to 700 feet apart depending on your property size and where you live.
Putting more than one sign along your property line is a great way to keep troublemakers away if you have a large piece of land.
How to Keep Trespassers Out of Your Property
Apart from no trespassing signs, there are some other strategies you can take that will help you keep trespassers out of your yard. Let’s discuss some of these ways.
How Do I Stop Trespassers?
To stop trespassers, it can be as simple as putting up a no trespassing sign. Or, as complicated as improving the land, putting up a fence, and then posting a sign.
Have you noticed people regularly using your property as a shortcut? Changing the way it’s accessed may go a long way to stop that from happening.
Additionally, this would be the best way to avoid a lawsuit because your boundaries would become really obvious and thus, more difficult to cross by accident.
You might also enjoy our post on What to Do if Your Neighbor’s Kid Keeps Coming in Your Yard
When Can You Issue A Trespass Notice?
You can issue a trespass notice at any time. This is done by either telling the trespasser in person or writing to them.
Putting up a no trespassing sign counts as a written trespass notice. That’s all there is to it because there is no formal paperwork for a trespass notice.
If you have to go so far as to take them to court, a notice in writing will hold up better because it’s recorded evidence.
Can I Order Do Not Trespass?
You can indeed obtain a court-issued no trespassing order. This order allows police to arrest anyone you find on your land that is trespassing and offers you more protection.
To file a no trespassing order, you will have to visit your local police station. They will ask you to fill out a form stating where your property is located and what is considered trespassing.
This form will then give the authority to the police to arrest anyone who trespasses.
However, if you want to keep certain people away – like a crazy ex or a stalker – it is best to obtain a restraining order, instead.
How Can I Stop My Neighbors From Trespassing?
The best way to handle a situation with your neighbor’s trespassing is to politely ask them to not go on your property. Additionally, putting up a no trespassing sign will help to remind them.
Having an open conversation with your neighbor about what you consider trespassing will help them understand your stance. Kindly discuss that you would not like them entering your property without permission.
If this does not work, you can think of installing a simple fence that will make it more difficult to enter your property. Additionally, you can think of using a guard dog to protect your property.
But, remember, dogs are a big responsibility and you have to be prepared to look after them for at least 12 years.
Do No Trespassing Signs Actually Work?
No trespassing signs are an effective way to keep the majority of people off your property. They will clearly communicate that you do not want people in your yard and that you will seek prosecution if you have to.
No trespassing signs serve an important purpose in marking your territory. Additionally, if someone ignores the signs, you can take legal action against them.
So, they are enforcement of your rights, as well.
What To Do When The No Trespassing Sign Is Not Enough
No trespassing signs are a great way to remind people to stay off your property. But, for some people, it is just a sign that can be ignored. Let’s discuss what you should do when a trespasser chooses to enter your property.
What Happens If Someone Ignores A No Trespassing Sign?
The presence of a no trespassing sign is enough to subject a trespasser to criminal penalties. In most places, ignoring a no trespassing sign can lead to criminal charges against the trespasser and/or civil liability if they cause any damage.
If the trespasser is found liable they may face fines to pay for damages and the act itself.
In most cases, trespassing is considered a misdemeanor which means they could be punished with a year in jail along with any fines they have to pay.
How Do You Deal With A Trespasser?
It is illegal to trespass on private property. If you’ve put up signs and you catch someone blatantly ignoring them, asking them to leave is usually sufficient. If that doesn’t work you have every right to call the authorities.
If you find someone on your property, you must first let them know that they are trespassing and then ask them to leave. It is uncommon that someone will refuse to leave, yet, if they do, you have the right to call the police.
Can You Call The Police For Trespassing?
You can always call the police if someone isn’t taking your no trespassing notice seriously. Trespassing is a crime that may put you in danger. If someone is on your property, call the police immediately.
Some people may be reluctant to call the police because they are afraid there will be no response. In some cases, this may be true because something like a traffic accident will be a higher priority.
Regardless, you should still call the police so the incident can be recorded and dealt with later.
You might also enjoy our post on If It Is Illegal to Walk Into Someone’s House Uninvited
How Can I Legally Ban Someone From My Property?
Simply stating that they are not welcome is enough to legally ban someone from your property. Preferably, it is best to have a witness in this situation.
Additionally, you may also ban trespassers with a certified letter but be sure to send a copy to your local police department so it holds up in court.
It’s perfectly legal to ban anyone for any reason or no reason at all because that’s what it means to own private property.
Can Trespassers Be Prosecuted?
Trespassers can indeed be prosecuted. Anyone who has stolen, caused damage, and was repeatedly asked to leave can face hefty fines. On the other hand, courts will be more forgiving for someone who has trespassed by accident.
Since trespassing is a crime, trespassers will be prosecuted if the situation calls for it. For example, if you are caught in someone’s private property with poor intentions, you are more likely to be prosecuted.
But, if you had to walk through your neighbor’s backyard to retrieve your dog who has run away, your intentions were not bad. Therefore, it will be difficult for the property owner to have you prosecuted.
How Do I Charge Someone With Trespassing?
You can charge someone for trespassing by filing a report with the police. Since it’s considered a criminal offense, the police should always be called when it happens.
The police will arrive at your property and ask you questions like the date and time. They will then ask you to identify the trespasser and show them any evidence you have on the matter.
Once they’ve collected your statement and evidence, they will decide based on that if you can press charges.
How Much Can You Get Charged For Trespassing?
Trespassing fines can be as little as a few hundred dollars to as much as 4,000 dollars or more. The charges for trespassing can vary depending on state law and the circumstances of the act.
The charges for trespassing can be intense. It’s not unheard of to pay for damage to expensive equipment up to $10,000. But, on the lower end, simple trespassing cases can include a fine of a few hundred dollars.
Why Do People Put No Trespassing Signs In Their Yard?
People put no trespassing signs in their yards to mark their boundaries. These signs are communicating that the owner of the property is not comfortable having any strangers enter their yard.
Although it is obvious to most people that you cannot enter someone else’s property without their permission, other people need gentle reminders. No trespassing signs act as these reminders.
How Do You Beat A Trespassing Charge?
There are many ways to beat a trespassing charge but the best thing you can do is talk to your lawyer. The laws are different in every state and what you can do will be affected by the circumstances of your case.
A few general ways trespassing charges can be beaten:
- Pay some minimal damage fees and convince the court to dismiss your case.
- If there were no signs, you can argue that you didn’t know you weren’t supposed to be there.
- Even if there were signs, you can state that you didn’t see them, trespassed by accident and didn’t mean any harm.
With the help of your lawyer, your arguments can be strengthened to beat charges.
Putting up a no trespassing sign is a powerful, easy way to encourage people to be more respectful of your property and keep them safe.
Just remember there should never be any need to use lethal force or traps. Going that far can turn the tables and land yourself into serious legal trouble instead of the trespasser.