My house doesn't have a fence. I witnessed multiple occasions of random people walking on my backyard, and taking water from the outer tap.

Therefore I want to print a warning and stick it on my house. Is it legal? Can I put a warning on my house? Here is the warining

STOP ! !

You are trespassing a private property in violation of TRESPASS ACT 1980.

The camera footage of your trespass violation will be reported to the police unless you leave the premises immediately

My concern is that I actually don't have a camera, and I don't plan to report anything to the police.

But wouldn't that be lying? Can I say there is a camera. I mean If I don't mention the camera then people might not take that seriously.

I don't want to hurt anybody. I just want to stop strangers from using my water tap, and walking on my backyard. Can I print and stick that message on the walls of my house?


2 Answers 2


It seems fine to me. You can even buy fake cameras to intimidate people, and I can't imagine they would sell those if it were illegal to do something like this.

There are certain situations where lying can be a crime, such as if you are in court, if you have signed under penalty of perjury, or if you are speaking to a law enforcement officer. There are also certain situations where lying can lead to civil remedies against you, such as if you lie about the capabilities of a product you are selling.

However, I don't believe there is any general law against lying (at least in the US), in fact it is sort of a form of free speech. If all you are trying to do by lying is trick people into doing something they are already required to do by law (not trespass), I don't see any way this could be interpreted as a crime, nor as causing anyone financial damages.

Edit: I guess I was typing at the same time as Dale M


There is no law against lying in these circumstances. In fact, for a very modest sum, security companies sell dummy CCTV cameras to make this lie more convincing.

However, trespass only happens if people have been warned so this works for literate people who speak English and see the sign. That leaves a very large group of people who would not be trespassing even with the sign.

A further problem with a sign on the house is that people have no idea how far away they have to get in order to stop trespassing. In addition, legitimate visitors (uninvited or not) are not trespassers.

It seems that people are coming onto your property because they are thirsty. A better way to deal with this is go to your local hardware store and replace the tap with a vandal proof tap that has a removable head. Keep that inside and put a sign next to the tap saying "Refrigerated Water $2 - knock on front door".

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    Make sure you have a valid license to sell drinking water before setting up the sign mentioned at the end. Also, the invitation to knock on door invalidates the no trespassing, at least for the main walkway and said door. Apr 13, 2022 at 18:38

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