What’s the difference between private and public property in regards to apartment complexes and the land around them?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What’s the difference between private and public property in regards to apartment complexes and the land around them?

I live in a very dog friendly neighborhood and I
have 2 dogs I walk regularly up and down our
street. There’s an apartment complex across
the street where a woman is trying to tell me I
cannot walk my dogs. I don’t go into the gated
areas at all but there is a large grassy area
next to the complex that I like to take them.
This grassy area has signs saying clean up
after your pet, there is no sidewalk between it
and the street and the complex’s sign is behind
it. I don’t think she legally can tell me not to
walk my dogs there because I see it as public
property. Am I wrong?

Asked on October 14, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

This would be private property typically: the grassy area would most likely be part of the same plot of land as the apartment complex and would be owned by the building's owners, making it private land. Only if it were owned by the city/town would it be public land. It's ownership, not accessible to the public or the road, which makes it public. If you want to confirm 100% who owns it, you should be able to look up that information in the city/town clerk's office.

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