In the world of DIY and home improvements, few tasks require as much diplomacy and tact as venturing into a neighbour's garden to undertake repairs, particularly when it comes to mending a shared fence. Here at East Coast Fencing, we understand the importance of maintaining not only your fences but also good relations with your neighbours. Below, we've compiled a comprehensive guide for homeowners and DIY enthusiasts on how to approach fence repairs that necessitate access to a neighbour's property.

Understanding Boundaries

Before planning any repairs, it’s crucial to know who owns the fence. Fence ownership can often be determined by your property deeds, but as a general rule, if the smooth side of the fence faces your property, it might be your neighbour’s responsibility, and vice versa. However, this is not a hard and fast rule, and communal understanding often varies.

Communicate Early and Clearly

Once you’ve identified the need for repairs and understood the fence ownership:

  1. Initiate a Conversation: Approach your neighbour with a friendly and open attitude. Explain clearly why you need to access their garden, what the repair work will involve, and how long it will likely take.
  2. Schedule Conveniently: Agree on a date and time that is convenient for them. Showing consideration for their schedule can go a long way in maintaining a harmonious relationship.

Provide Reassurance

It’s natural for neighbours to be concerned about the potential for damage to their property or garden:

  1. Outline Your Plans: Offer a clear plan of what the work will entail, including any measures you will take to avoid damage to their garden.
  2. Professional Assurance: Mention that you are using high-quality wooden fence panels from East Coast Fencing, which can help reassure them of the professionalism and durability of the repairs.

Legal Considerations

While it’s always better to seek an amicable agreement, it’s good to know the legal backdrop. In the UK, The Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 might allow you access to a neighbour's land for the “preservation” (repairs and maintenance) of your property, provided you can prove the work is necessary and cannot be done without access to their land. However, this should be a last resort after all attempts at a friendly agreement have failed.

Conducting the Repairs

Once you have permission:

  1. Prepare Thoroughly: Ensure you have all the tools and materials needed beforehand to complete the job efficiently. East Coast Fencing supplies quality wooden fence panels that can make the task smoother.
  2. Work Respectfully: On the day, work carefully to minimise disruption. Keep noise to a minimum and ensure you leave their garden exactly as you found it.

Showing Appreciation

After the work is completed:

  1. Express Thanks: A simple thank you can go a long way. Whether it’s a verbal thank you, a thank you card, or a small gift, showing appreciation for their cooperation is key.
  2. Offer Reciprocal Help: Offering to help with any of their future garden needs can help strengthen the relationship further.


Repairing a fence that requires access to your neighbour’s garden doesn’t have to be a point of contention. With open communication, understanding, and a bit of diplomacy, you can successfully mend fences in more ways than one. Remember, a fence is not just a boundary; it's a shared asset that, when well-maintained, can enhance the harmony and aesthetic appeal of adjoining properties.

East Coast Fencing is committed to providing quality solutions and advice for all your fencing needs. For further guidance or to explore our range of high-quality wooden fence panels, visit our website or get in touch. Together, we can make fence repair a seamless (and neighbourly) project.