Non-Tenant Foot Traffic...How To Stop...Thanks!

QUESTION:  How have you stopped Non-Tenant foot traffic in your Mobile Home Park?  Have you used fences?  If yes, wood or chain link?Have you used off duty cops?  If yes, for how long?Have you used something else?  If yes, what?We have an approximately 12 acre Mobile Home Park.We share property lines with:-  Left Property Line:  Single Family Homes-  Right Property Line:  Two Apartment Complexes & Single Family Homes-  Back Property Line:  Vacant Land & Then CreekIt is the Right / Back Property Line that is an issue with the Apartment Complex Tenants being the violators.We have a wooden fence on the Right Side of our property that is between the two Apartment Complexes and our property.The Back Property Line backs up to just woods and there is no fence.The Apartment Complex uses this wooded area to walk through and then just enters our MHP from the back.The wooden fence on the side does slow them down.  However, they still remove wooden boards to go through the fence or climb over the top.We are receiving quotes to put up new fences.  We are looking to put up an 8 foot wooden fence on the side and a chain link fence on the back (so we can see if anyone is on the other side of the fence).What would you recommend?My Husband was talking to a Police Officer the other day who would do 2 hour off duty work for us.  He said that he would stop the Non-Tenant Foot Traffic and run their ID.  He would also give us a report of his findings.  It sounds good to us, but we have not done this before.Any advice would be greatly appreciated.Thanks So Very Much!

Once the new fences are up post no trespass signs. Make it clear violators will be charged. You could then intermittently hire a Officer to catch and charge violators. The message will get through to the apartment residents.

Greg, thank you for your comment!

An off-duty police officer, in most markets, costs $35+ per hour. So when he says “2 hours” is he talking daily? as that’s about $500 per week. We have used off-duty police officers before, but typically on very specialized projects and not something as generic as stopping people walking through a park. If these people can identify his pattern, they’ll just cut through when he’s not there, so it won’t solve the problem. The fence is the better option, and I think 8’ chain link at the back is what we’d do. However, you might also consider barbed wire on the top (as that makes scaling a whole different level of risk) and add the 'no trespassing" signs as Greg suggests. This will not stop the problem, but reduce it probably 75%, and then you can call 911 on anyone who cuts through your defenses still and that word will get around the apartments, reducing the walkers even further. These kind of shortcuts normally follow the path of least resistance, and hopefully they will find another target that is easier to cut through and lose interest in you.

Frank, thanks for your comments!

Kristin:I’m not sure that barbed wire is the way I would go – it sends the wrong visual message and may cause you insurance headaches. You and your residents have to live with whatever solution you design.Study where they’re jumping the fence. Is it one location? Is it from one building, or is it throughout the property line? Are they going to one place (convenience store, laundromat, bus stop, playground, etc.) or just fanning out? I’d start by speaking with the manager and/or owner of the apartments next door. Make sure you mention that you’ll have to start billing them for the repairs to your fence caused by their residents. It may work.In Atlanta we had a single-point pass through, so we put pampas grass (Cortaderia Selloana) to slow people down. Worked well and was highly resistant to mischief. You could also use a Spanish Bayonet (Yucca aloifolia), but it grows slower and I think the pampas looks better. If it works, you get some decent landscaping and the problem is solved. If not, you’ve got something else to bill the neighbors for. Orlando, I had an apartment community with a jump over problem. We solved that by coating portions of the fence with grease. It didn’t show on the fence, but was immediately visible when they placed their hands on the top of the fence. Will

Will, thank you for your comments!I like the grease on the fence and love that it worked :-).We had also read about putting pine tar on the top of the fences.  Has anyone ever tried the pine tar?Thanks So Very Much!