If my pond has grown larger due to beaver dam and now a tiny corner of it is on someone else’s property, do they have access to the entire pond?

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If my pond has grown larger due to beaver dam and now a tiny corner of it is on someone else’s property, do they have access to the entire pond?

We have a pond that has grown substantially due to beaver dam. We own or at one
point owned 20 feet all the way around. Now a small corner of the pond is on a
neighboring condominium property and we’ve found they’re accessing the body of
water that way. This is a dangerous pond if it’s not known to the people who
access it as it’s full of springs where ice never gets thick. We’re very
concerned that since we pay the taxes on this body of water and it’s technically
our pond that if someone falls through or gets injured in anyway on this body of
water, we could be held liable. We have been told to post the property all the
way around but if the condo association now has the pond on their property, we
obviously can’t post there. Do we now have a body of water that they can use
freely even though we pay the taxes and maintain it? Thanks

Asked on December 18, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Whoever's land that corner of the pond is on (e.g. the association, if it's on association or common land) can use that part of the pond on their land and no other: the fact that they can access a corner of it does NOT let them trespass onto your land. A good idea would be to post something in the pond, like a tall sign or signs sticking out of the water, just on your side of where it crosses onto another's land warning everyone that 1) the other side of the sign is private property, no trespassing allowed; and 2) that the pond is hazardous if anyone enters/swims in it, they do so at their own risk. Then if anyone is on your land (including your side of the pond), report them to the police as trespassers.


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