Does Shutting Down Access To The Lakefront Through His Property Make This Guy The Worst New Neighbor?

There are a ton of relationship and family posts on subreddit Am I The A$$hole, but for my money, the ones with the most drama are always the ones asking for advice on dealing with their neighbors.

This man is new to the neighborhood, and had the good fortune of purchasing the only home within a couple of miles that has a private beach and access to the lakefront.

Background: I recently purchased several acres of wooded property, a good portion of which juts out into a rather large lake. My little peninsula gives me some great lakefront, there’s a smallish strip of “beach,” a dock and a few boat slips. Because of the woods surrounding the lake, I’m the only lot for several miles that has access to the water without going bushwhacking through the trees.

Apparently, over the years my neighbors have gotten used to taking their boats down my driveway to launch, or going and spending time on the beach. I bought the place over the holidays and just recently moved in at the beginning of the summer, and before anyone introduced themselves to me I was met with a regular stream of traffic cutting through my lot to the water.

After moving in, he noticed many others were trekking through his property to access the water, and tried politely letting people know that the house and grounds had been purchased.

At first I thought it was because I purchased the property and didn’t move in the right away, that everyone just assumed the house and land was vacant and could take advantage until that changed.

So, I started walking out when I saw people and letting them know that I lived there now, and also making a point to make it obvious the house was lived in. Not much changed so I got blunt and started asking people directly not to trespass on the property.

When that didn’t work, he put up a gate, some signs, a camera, and let his large dogs roam on the property.

I wish I could say my direct approach solved the problem, but people would still trek right through.

I put up a fence, and put up a sign stating “private property” as well as a sign letting folks know that my dogs were on the property.

Once I put the fence up I started allowing them (the dogs) to roam the property and didn’t want any trouble.

That worked, but it also angered his neighbors, who couldn’t seem to understand why they could no longer use the nearby access instead of driving further down the road.

Unfortunately, my neighbors took the fence and the dogs, despite the fact I owned the dogs well before moving to this lot, as an act of aggression. I had a neighbor come to my door and literally yell at me because my dogs barked at her kids when they tried to pull their raft up onto my beach.

That same neighbor advised me that my lot has always been the neighborhood entrance to the lake. Apparently, a number of the neighbors built the fire pit and put the tables and rocks and park like features out there.

A few people have chatted with him and let him know that his assumptions were correct, and that things had been done that way for awhile.

He knows that it’s within his rights to restrict access to his property, but he’s wondering if doing so makes him a big ol’ jerk.

In chatting with a couple of the friends I’ve managed to make in my new neighborhood, they confirmed that what the neighbor said was true, that my property has always been more of a park than a private lot.

Anyway, while I feel bad that the convenience of nearby lake access has been cut off, I live by myself and I’m personally not comfortable with anyone and everyone just traipsing through my yard. On one hand, I feel like it’s absolutely my decision to restrict access to my lot but on the other I’m wondering if I’m breaking some sort of unspoken rule of access that was established before I ever got here.

Am I the a**hole for closing off my property?

But is Reddit on his side? Let’s find out in the comments!

The top comment points out that since the property is private, he could easily be sued if someone gets hurt there – or worse.

Image Credit: Reddit

This person thinks the police should be notified, just so that they’re aware of the situation.

Image Credit: Reddit

Pretty much everyone thinks he should consult with a lawyer to make sure he’s doing everything necessary.

Image Credit: Reddit

I feel like this suggestion would probably just escalate things.

Image Credit: Reddit

There are, of course, real safety issues to consider.

Image Credit: Reddit

This guy isn’t wrong, but man, it would stink to be in his shoes, don’t you think?

Tell us in the comments how you would resolve this if it were you!