A terrified mum says her family are "prisoners in their own home" after their neighbour's XL Bully dog has repeatedly entered their garden and climbed at their back door.

The mum, who lives in Letchworth and has asked not to be named, says housing association settle moved new tenants into the property next door in September 2023, and that these people own an XL Bully.

settle "failed to erect a fence or boundary" between the two back gardens, she said, confirming she has Land Registry evidence that it is their responsibility to do so.

"As you can imagine, an XL Bully in a garden without a perimeter fence is near impossible to control and this dog was immediately in my garden," the mum said.

"This dog has entered my garden numerous times, climbing at my back door, and has defecated in my garden.

"I am not able to get this dog out of my garden, as it is quite intimidating in size, sound and reputation.

"My son is absolutely terrified. We are prisoners in our own home and my son is scared to go into his own garden alone.

"My children will now not play in the garden, as this dog barks continuously at them and jumps at the fence."

Last week, the mum said settle installed "a completely inadequate 4ft chain link fence".

The housing association has "endangered myself and my family by allowing this situation to materialise and allowing a dangerous dog to access my garden on multiple occasions," she added.

Dean Anderson, executive director of customer services at settle, said: "We’re really sorry to hear of the private owner’s distress and take any complaint of this nature extremely seriously.

"We are continuing to work with the private owner and settle resident to urgently resolve this issue.

"Where written permission is requested by a settle resident to keep a dog in their home and this is granted, the tenant is expected to meet the criteria as a responsible dog owner.

"We can see in this case that the fencing between both gardens was not adequate to keep the dog from entering the owner’s premises.

"We are sorry that we did not act quickly enough to ensure the boundary was secure and for any additional distress that this has caused to the owner and her family.

"We’ve installed fencing and will continue to work with the owner to ensure a satisfactory resolution.

"We will take the learnings from this case to improve our processes as a result of this complaint going forward."