How to Keep Neighbors Out of Backyard?

31 Comments
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By an edhat reader

We've been renting a house on the Westside for over a year now and we keep having neighbors help themselves into our backyard. Our front yard does not have a gate separating the back so anyone can walk around the side of the house into our private backyard.

We have security cameras installed and on more than one occasion we've seen who we assume are people who live in the neighborhood, walk to the front door and around into the backyard. One appeared to be picking fruit from our trees. Just last night two people appeared to be corralling our next-door neighbor's cats while looking at delivered packages left on our porch.

We've never met these neighbors and are unsure exactly who they are or where they live. It's weird we even have to ask, but how can we prevent this from happening? Each time we've been out of town or not home and noticed the camera footage later.

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Roger Aug 20, 2019 08:57 AM
How to Keep Neighbors Out of Backyard?

You have cameras call the police press charges 602pc trespassing. I used to set traps back in my home state when I was young though I come from a violent area it was not ok to set traps..Do it the right way.

hairtrigger Aug 16, 2019 12:42 PM
How to Keep Neighbors Out of Backyard?

I'd always recommend talking before calling the police or posting signs. Could be something very benign. We've got a big avocado tree in our backyard. When the kids were little they used to set up stands on the street to sell them. Ended up with a few regular customers who would knock on the door when they needed them. Got to where we just told a few to go back and pick them and then they'd leave a few bucks for the kids. Granted, it's a unique type of person (hippies) with looser boundaries than most who goes this route for produce instead of just buying it retail. Could be the people in your yard had some kind of arrangement with a previous tenant and don't realize a different person lives there. What about putting a friendly note on the tree asking them to stop by and introduce themselves before continuing to go in the backyard?

Lucky 777 Aug 16, 2019 11:23 AM
How to Keep Neighbors Out of Backyard?

A gate AND a guard dog are in order. I know a man in Santa Paula who bought a property that had been vacant for years, an old avocado orchard. He built his home in it, fenced it, and got German rottweilers. Then he went over to the neighbors, who had been harvesting the avocados for themselves for years, and told them he had bought a big backhoe. Maybe they thought he was going to offer to let them borrow it. But he clarified that if they came onto his property again his rotts would kill them, and he'd bury them to fertilize the trees.

PitMix Aug 20, 2019 08:51 AM
How to Keep Neighbors Out of Backyard?

The guy in your story should be reported for making threats. At least get it on record so when he does something, and he seems likely to do, the case against him will be easier to make.

Roger Aug 16, 2019 08:26 AM
How to Keep Neighbors Out of Backyard?

Once they close the parks early you might find campers in your yards I hear those calls once in a while, so you might not only have the neighbors going in your back yards..

sea dog Aug 16, 2019 07:48 AM
How to Keep Neighbors Out of Backyard?

Don't forget to mark the property legally. I had a mobile home on the East side and found someone in my backyard that jumped the back fence. I called the cops but they said there was nothing they can do because I marked the gate but not the back fence. Sometimes S.B. cops seem to not want to write police reports so they can claim crime is down. They visited my meth dealing next door neighbor weekly but almost never created paperwork ?

a-1566001690 Aug 16, 2019 05:28 PM
How to Keep Neighbors Out of Backyard?

The SBPD sometimes suggest a ticket isn't warranted and it's for one simple reason: they don't want to do the paper work.

a-1565916409 Aug 15, 2019 05:46 PM
How to Keep Neighbors Out of Backyard?

I love these kinds of posts. Our neighbors are the neighbors from Hell. They actually think they're better than everyone else and it really shows. Our properties are 1/3 acre. They have their own front and back yards and have spent tons of money making everything look like some Montecito estate. My boyfriend has caught their two sons hovering around in our front yard, spying on us. Every once in a while the family dog gets loose. One afternoon I was at the far boundary of my back yard when, much to my surprise, I turned around and saw the oldest boy (14) standing at the back of my house. There he stood, clearly taking his time, having a look around, acting like he thought he owned the place. I startled the heck out of him when I said, "And what are you doing here?" He said he was looking for his dog, but the dog was nowhere to be seen. No apology, not the least bit embarrassed. If my dog went into my nasty neighbors' yard or if I even dared set foot 6" into their front yard, they'd be apoplectic. But, it's okay for them (the wife, the Mother-in-law, the kids) to be running around on my property while chasing down their renegade dog. One time I went to my open front door and their dog was standing there on my front porch, barking at me. I took a photo. I have a dog now that will growl when he hears strangers in the yard, at the door. That has helped my peace of mind immensely. Gawd, how I loathe bad neighbors.

a-1565916634 Aug 15, 2019 05:50 PM
How to Keep Neighbors Out of Backyard?

Obviously that's a joke, but just in case the humor isn't understood: NO traps. Might have "incidental catch" of some poor skunk or opossum or raccoon or someone's pet.

a-1565913510 Aug 15, 2019 04:58 PM
How to Keep Neighbors Out of Backyard?

A big, noisy, MEAN dog tends to send the subtle message to stay the hell out! There are some cool rescue hounds begging to be adopted at the local shelters.

LCP112233 Aug 15, 2019 02:31 PM
How to Keep Neighbors Out of Backyard?

Do what everyone else does. Locked gates and fences. Cameras. I like @2.12's idea of motion activated sprinklers. And of course, motion activated lights. How about a trip wire with a bucket full of paint above? People can be so rude.

Classic Aug 15, 2019 02:29 PM
How to Keep Neighbors Out of Backyard?

A friend put up a sign at his work in an area that in order to have read it you must have trespassed. Weeks later a trespasser called my friend and asked if the sign was real. My friend replied, "Dude, I wouldn't be wasting your time talking to me. I'd be looking for the best doctor you can find" and hangs up. I believe the sign said " caution very high radiation area".

OP I hope you find the missing family Black Cobra - Boa-constrictor cross that you lost in your back yard...wink wink .

Ahchooo Aug 15, 2019 02:07 PM
How to Keep Neighbors Out of Backyard?

We had this problem with a neighbor. We asked nicely several times, then we screamed and yelled. Nothing worked except fencing and locks. Ask your landlords if they will install some tall, pointy-topped gates with locks. Or you could get some inexpensive wire fencing and just block the paths, which we did as an interim measure, but that would inconvenience you as well as the thieves.

sbmh2015 Aug 15, 2019 01:30 PM
How to Keep Neighbors Out of Backyard?

I had the same problem with both my neighbors. First, I spoke to them. They agreed to be respectful and not enter the yard or my property. Didn't work. Then I locked the gates. They hopped over the locked gates. I again spoke to them. Still happened with one neighbor and their kids. After this behavior on and off for over 3 years, I had to put up additional fencing and no trespassing signs. We had unpleasant words unfortunately but it hasn't happened since. It really was outrageous behavior to me. I've owned homes elsewhere and never experienced what happened here. I am sorry you are experiencing this

d8vanilla Aug 15, 2019 12:09 PM
How to Keep Neighbors Out of Backyard?

Also, after you install that good heavy duty gate, attach bells, so if the gate is opened, it will make a lot of noise.

d8vanilla Aug 15, 2019 12:08 PM
How to Keep Neighbors Out of Backyard?

Trespassing and Theft .... You have their images, which is the proof. File a Police Report.
Put up some good "NO TRESPASSING" signs. Might be time to install that gate, or taller fence. Post their pictures on the fence where they are coming in. Get one of those security camera systems, where you can actually talk with the intruders. Good luck, and keep us posted.

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