Marking the exact location of property boundaries can be a laborious and at times contentious problem. Just look at the arguments that have arisen over the Mason Dixon line. Hopefully your property won't require quite that much of a hassle, but it is certainly important that you establish the location of your boundary lines to ensure that any potential disputes are cleared up before they become problematic. There are many reasons to mark your property lines, but perhaps two of the best are: 1) to prevent others from accidentally trespassing on your property and/or cutting your trees, and 2) to prevent you from accidentally trespassing on your neighbor's property.
Properly marking your property lines can be a distinct advantage if you do discover a trespass has occurred on your property. The Virginia law clearly states that property can be "posted" as a preventative measure against trespass by either "(i) placing signs prohibiting hunting, fishing or trapping where they may reasonably be seen; or (ii) placing identifying paint marks on trees or posts at each road entrance and adjacent to public roadways and public waterways adjoining the property" (Code of Virginia Â§ 18.2-134.1). If you elect to use boundary paint to post your property, the marks must be "two inches in width and at least eight inches in length and the center of the mark shall be no less than three feet nor more than six feet" above the ground. In addition, the paint must be aluminum in color to qualify as officially posted property. This doesn't mean you can't use a different, more visible color, to mark your boundaries it just means if you want to officially post your property against trespassing, you will have to use "Posted" signs as well.
A new law passed by the Virginia General Assembly this year states that if your boundaries are painted with the markings described above (no matter what color), and timber is harvested from your property without your permission, you will qualify automatically to receive three times the value of the trees cut, and the person who cut them will be guilty of larceny. Obviously, it can pay off to have your boundary lines appropriately marked.
If you are at all unsure as to where your boundary lines are or if they have not been marked for you, contact us today for a free consultation.