Bit of a silly one really.
I rent a housing association 3 bed semi in a nice village, my next door neighbour has bought his. The housing association will only maintain a 3ft chicken wire fence with metal stakes, although tenants are given permission to install any fence they like on the proviso it is the responsibility of the tenant, which I'm fine with. FWIW we will hopefully be buying the house in the next 5 years or so.
The previous tenants of the house I rent were happy with the chicken wire, the neighbour wasn't, so off his own back he installed a 1m high cheapy willow panel fence with those ground stakes and stained it a "tasteful" red/maroon colour. As his garden is about 100mm higher than ours he installed the fence at his level, and popped some old uPVC fascia boards or something as gravel boards. It looks a fecking mess from my side, but fine from his. Also the fence is definitely on our garden, and this boundary is our responsibility - these facts are not in dispute whatsoever.
My garden in red - fence in question in blue.
My garden is south facing and quite large, his is much smaller and west facing and comes to a point rather than being squared off. He has a green house right in the corner, and behind the greenhouse he uses this back corner as a dump for pots etc, and has 2 stacked very manky looking plastic storage lock up things that are over 2m high in the bottom corner. Also they sit on their patio often and this gives us no privacy whatsoever.
When I've asked in the past, I offered to replace the fence with a 1.8m high close boarded fence, they could paint their side any colour they like, grow things up it, I couldn't care less, I'd foot the bill 100%, they point blank (but politely) said that they'd be very cross if the fence was changed as it would block off light to their greenhouse and would make their garden feel very enclosed as they enjoy watching the birds in our trees, the late evening sun etc, which I thought fair enough and left it at that, OK I'd like a taller fence and more privacy but wasn't bothered enough to take it further.
For the past few months we've been thinking of throwing some money at the garden and making some raised beds etc, new shed blah blah, but a new taller fence his a high priority for us.
What has brought this thread on was yesterday he (politely but firmly) asked me to tell the children to stop playing football in the back garden as his fence was getting damaged and he was concerned the green house will get broken. I said I'd ask the kids to try and not kick the ball at the fence, but if it was damaged I'd replace the fence, and if the green house needed replacement glass we'd foot the bill. He went away fairly happy.
Later that evening the ball hit the fence (only 6 and 8 year olds FFS!) and he was sitting on his patio, he came over and told the kids to stop playing football in the garden! I restrained the Mrs and went round for a chat and made it quite clear that if he had problems he was to speak to us, not the kids, and there was no way on earth I'd be banning the kids from playing in the garden. I suggested I'd better look to changing the fence to something more appropriate, and he basically told me not to touch his fence and he'd fix it if it got broken.
Now the Mrs is livid, and I agree with her that putting up a 6ft fence is a priority. I couldn't give a monkeys about design, whether to use concrete or timber posts, close board panels or on rails etc, but I do know I'm going to change it.
How do I approach the guy? Do it anyway? Clearly I'll need to remove "his" fence, do I stack it neatly in the garden or what? I can see a conversation going along the lines of "I'd like to put up a taller fence" "I want to keep that one" "Well I'm swapping it anyway"... The Mrs doesn't care about winding them up, but as we need to live next to them I'd rather keep things amicable.
I really don't want to fall out with them over things, but clearly they aren't going to be happy or give me permission to do anything. What would you do?
Phew - that was a longer post than I'd imagined!!