When the government decided to put Singaporeans in HDB flats, one of their aims was to build cohesive communities. And it worked—residents staying in the same vicinity bond over their shared experiences, just probably not the type the government expected.
The #1 bonding experience? Neighbours from hell. Everyone’s met one at least once.
Here’s the story of a Bukit Batok resident who’s the newest addition to the “Neighbours from Hell” hit list.
A Weekend Routine: Getting Drunk, Knocking Walls and Yelling Loudly
Residents in the vicinity of Block 465A, Bukit Batok West Avenue 8, have been complaining about a particular neighbour’s antics.
Apparently, the neighbour in question has a sweet night routine: every weekend, he would get drunk, knock on the walls in his home and yell loudly.
Ah, the authentic public housing experience. We’re just missing the neighbour whose favourite activity is playing with marbles and the neighbour who’s constantly moving furniture.
Why Bird Paradise Suddenly Became Singapore’s Yishun:
Some neighbours could not tolerate his antics and made a police report. Sure enough, on Saturday (10 Dec), the police came knocking.
Wu, 53, lives next door to this notorious 58-year-old. Wu told Shin Min Daily News that his neighbour only moved in four weeks ago.
Initially, the two were on good terms and would even greet each other when they bumped into one another. However, Wu’s neighbour became particularly noisy two weeks ago, and their relationship soured.
On weekends, Wu’s neighbour would get drunk at night and start yelling loudly, making so much noise that it became unbearable.
The noise was so bad that even residents from the HDB flat opposite would turn on their flashlights and wave their hands to signal Wu’s neighbour to stop making noise.
Kind of like an SOS signal, except this time, it’s their ears screaming for help.
Holding Hostage The Sleep Schedules of His Neighbours
On weekend nights, the 58-year-old usually drinks with other residents on the same floor. Apparently, they usually would leave only at 1 am, which was bad news for Wu and the other residents trying to get a good night’s sleep.
The noise would last for about an hour, causing Wu to be unable to get any shut-eye.
The worst part?
While everyone else sleeps in on weekend mornings, Wu must go to work every Sunday morning at 6 am.
As a result of his lack of proper rest, Wu is unable to carry out his work properly, which his boss has also pointed out.
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Other residents also share the same experience. The noise made by the 58-year-old was so loud that they could not sleep at night, yet all they could do was endure it.
These neighbours from hell could literally be carrying the market for noise-cancellation headphones.
A resident who lives in the HDB flat opposite confirmed that even from the opposite flat, he could hear loud noises at 11 pm or 12 midnight on weekends. Suffice it to say; Wu isn’t the only one exasperated due to his neighbour’s behaviour.
Housemates Have No Complaints About The Noise
When Shin Min Daily News interviewed the 58-year-old, he shared that his housemates, who wake up at 5 am or 6 am, had no complaints about his noise level.
In fact, he claims that even when he watches TV, he uses headphones to minimise the noise level.
One of the residents that would drink with the 58-year-old also claimed that when they and other residents gathered together to drink, they tried to minimise the disturbance to their neighbours.
He claims they usually dispersed to return to their homes at around 10 pm.
Resolving Neighbour Disputes in Singapore
When it comes to disputes with our neighbours, residents are encouraged to resolve them amicably.
And when we say “amicably”, we don’t mean avoiding the conflict and simply ranting about your neighbour anonymously on social media.
You should try communicating your concerns to your neighbour to see if a possible solution or an alternative arrangement can be worked out.
If you’re unable to speak to your neighbour regarding their behaviour or actions, you could try mediation before deciding to escalate the dispute further.
Mediation can be done either formally or informally. If you’re looking to resolve your dispute through formal mediation, the Community Mediation Centre (CMC) has got you covered.
The CMC provides formal mediation services to help you and your neighbour discuss the issue in dispute calmly.
Such an approach allows you to maintain good relations with your neighbour instead of adding fuel to the fire by naming and shaming them with a notice at your lift lobby.
If mediation doesn’t work, you can seek legal recourse as a last resort by filing a claim at the Community Disputes Resolution Tribunal (CDRT).
The CDRTs, however, are usually meant to handle unreasonable cases, so please don’t file a claim against your neighbour just for them dropping marbles on your ceiling…
There’s no perfect neighbour. What matters is that we can resolve conflicts with our neighbours amicably and maintain a harmonious relationship with them.
Lastly, while it’s easy for us to jump on the mistakes of others, we should also learn to be considerate neighbours to avoid causing disturbances to those around us.
So, maybe watch your volume when watching the World Cup finals this weekend.
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