No Trespassing sign at a barbed wire fence.

How does a resident give notice to fellow residents that they are trespassing on private property? The HOA in this case prohibits trespassing signage.



Some states have laws protecting political signage, so you will need to check local laws. Generally, a community association can prohibit trespassing and should start with a demand letter. Followed by a lawsuit.

David G. Hellmuth
Attorney at Law
P: (952) 746-2107
F: (952) 941-2337
8050 West 78th Street
Edina, MN 55439

The law on trespassing is state specific. The question should be posed directly to an attorney in your state. Generally, though, as you point out, most states have laws that provide that in order to prosecute members of the public for trespassing certain signage at certain intervals must be posted. Since your association prohibits signage, which is typical, in order to enforce trespassing law in most states you would have to provide written notice to the person or persons who you wish to be aware that they are trespassing on your property. Once a person has such notice they would be guilty of trespass if they ignored it. Of course if it is not clear where your property ends and begins you might have to clearly mark it in some manner or be able to describe its boundaries in the written notice. Another option is when you see someone on your property you can orally advise him or her that they are on your property and you want them to leave. If they refuse you can call your local police. If you believe that those who are trespassing are not intentional, but are doing so out of ignorance, a gentler initial approach by simply orally informing them is preferable. In all events we recommend speaking to a local attorney to be sure you are following the specific requirements in your state.

J. David Ramsey
Becker & Poliakoff
1776 on the Green | 67 Park Place, Suite 702
Morristown, NJ 07960
Tel: 973.898.6502
Fax: 973.898.6506

I would suggest looking closely at the provision prohibiting signage. Most prohibit commercial-type signs. If No Trespassing signs are included, the owner can either ask the HOA Board for an exception or send letters to the offenders, putting them on notice of the boundary line.

Sara A. Austin
Austin Law Firm LLC
226 E. Market St.
York, PA 17403
717.846.2246 phone
717.846.2248 fax

This is difficult to answer as typically positing of “No Trespassing” signs is required to enforce the property rights. The only other means of doing so is sending out a notice by mail or hand delivery to those offenders advising them of the private property and the no trespassing restriction.

Kenneth D. Roth, Esq.
Marchetti Law, P.C.
900 N.Kings Highway, Suite 306
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Tel: 856-824-1001
Fax: 267-219-4838


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