Young couple moving in new home packing house

Couple Bought a Countryside Oasis, But the Local Community That Had Been Accessing Their Property’s Natural Swimming Cave For Generations and Refused To Stop Using the Land.

In the search for rural tranquility, the Original Poster (OP) and her husband become involved in a persistent conflict over their private property rights. Their dream home, a secluded plot adjacent to a national park, unexpectedly becomes a battleground with the local community over a well-loved swimming hole on their land. As tensions escalate from heated confrontations to vandalization, their fight for privacy faces an unforeseen twist that complicates the battle.

The City Escape

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OP and her husband embarked on a quest to escape the city, aiming for a location with running water for him and a house for her. The perfect property appears, almost serendipitously – it’s lush with two creeks, a modest home, and runs adjacent to a national park. Despite being slightly out of their budget, the love-struck couple gets support from their parents to purchase the 100-acre property.

The Unseen Handover

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The previous owner, an older man who used the property as a weekend retreat, lived predominantly in the city, leaving the rural oasis often unattended. This man’s absence became an invisible handover, allowing local children to frequent the property’s creek for swimming. Unbeknownst to OP and her husband, their dream home came with an unwitting share of their land with the local community.

Boundaries Crossed

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On discovering a beaten path to a swimming hole on their property, the couple asserts their right to privacy. They erect a wire fence and post a ‘No Trespassing’ sign, hoping to deter the local community from infringing on their privacy. However, their defensive measures receive an unexpected reaction.

The Outraged Regular

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image credit: dean-drobot/shutterstock

Soon after erecting the barrier, an angry woman bypasses the fence, confronts the couple, and claims a 30-year history of using the path and swimming hole. Despite this interruption, the couple stands firm on their decision to protect their privacy, stating the change of ownership also changes the rules. This confrontation, however, only heralds the beginning of their trouble.

Public Indignation

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Someone posts about the fence on the local suburb Facebook group, sparking debate. Some community members voice their discontent, while others empathize with the couple’s right to privacy. The couple explains they only wish for people to access the swimming hole from the national park side.

The Vandalized Boundary

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A week after the online dispute, the couple finds their ‘No Trespassing’ sign stolen and the wire fence cut. This act of defiance forces them to question how much their privacy would be continually violated. Frustrated and disheartened, they realize their country retreat may not be as secluded as they had hoped.

A Rude Awakening

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Before the couple can replace the sign or fence, they experience another intrusion. Emerging from the path, three girls cross their front yard, blatantly disregarding the couple’s evident desire for privacy. The audacity of this action forces the couple to consider taking more drastic measures to assert their privacy rights.

The Legal Path

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OP and her husband, fed up with the ongoing disturbances, decide to seek legal advice. They explore the possibilities of getting a restraining order against the recurring trespassers and prosecuting the vandals. However, the path to asserting their right through the courts proves to be riddled with complexities and setbacks.

Surveillance Strike

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Feeling cornered, OP and her husband decide to install a high-tech surveillance system around their property. With this, they aim to document the trespassing incidents and gather substantial proof to strengthen their case. However, their decision to add cameras increases the animosity among the locals.

The Sabotaged System

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Soon after the installation, the surveillance system is sabotaged in a nighttime operation. This move escalates the tension further, and the couple is left feeling insecure and violated in their own home. The sabotage forces them to rethink their defense strategy.

The Breaking Point

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While grappling with the sabotaged system and ongoing trespassing, the couple faces an even bigger blow. One evening, their house is vandalized in their absence, leaving them utterly distraught. This incident becomes their breaking point.

Was The Woman’s Behavior Appropriate?

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While OP and her husband contemplate moving, she posts their story online for advice. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:

Forum Responds

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One reader said, “Letting people access the water from your property also would probably be a liability if something bad were to happen. It is on your property, and you are within your right to prevent access.”

Another Commenter Thinks

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Another responder wrote, “You’re entitled to protect your own privacy, and I’d also recommend getting the police involved since your property was vandalized.”

A Third View on The Story

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A different person stated, “I understand why people are upset. It’s your property, and you can block access if you want. Especially since people can still get to the swimming hole another way.”

A Final Perspective on the Matter

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Another reader commented, “A well-established path more than a football field away from your house is not an unreasonable expectation from the others in the given circumstances. Consider reaching out to your neighbors about organizing the clearing of a good alternative path to the swimming hole.”

What Do You Think?

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What are your thoughts on their actions?

What would you have done in this situation?

This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.

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