Horrible neighbours can make your life a living hell. We’ve heard the stories of notoriously inconsiderate neighbours in Singapore who make you shudder and feel grateful for kind, considerate neighbors. Residents of Pasir Ris, Elias Road have had to deal with a neighbour banging loudly through the night, disrupting their sleep and affecting how they live. While in Kreta Ayer, one of its residents kept fourteen dogs inside a single flat, subjecting neighbours to barking and unpleasant smells.
Having to deal with neighbours in Singapore who make loud noises way after 11 pm at night or those who wilfully splash substances in your corridor or on your door can be mentally distressing. What do you do when you have loud, inconsiderate neighbours who have little regard for those living around them?
6 strategies of dealing with inconsiderate neighbours in Singapore
1. Try resolving the conflict directly with your neighbour
The very first step to managing a dispute with a neighbour is to find a way to resolve it as effectively as possible and this would mean having a conversation with your neighbour. Might it be a simple misunderstanding? In order to maintain a harmonious living environment, make the effort to communicate politely, listen, understand and empathise. This can go a long way in resolving conflict. Try keeping calm when you approach your neighbour and prepare what you would like to say beforehand.
2. Contact your grassroots leaders
Approaching your grassroots leaders might be a viable solution, as they can act as a neutral third party to help guide you and your neighbour towards conflict resolution. As grassroots organisations work closely with other government agencies, they will also be able to quickly put you in touch with the right people who can aid you in resolving your situation more efficiently.
3. Engage mediation services
Mediation is where an objective third party facilitates the discussion between you and your neighbour. Much like approaching a grassroots leader, a mediator helps to control the conversation and steer it, guiding you and your neighbour towards a possible solution. This allows both parties to reach an amicable resolution. This also ensures the discussion does not escalate and you can avoid the unnecessary costs involved with going to court. The Community Mediation Centre (CMC) offers formal mediation services by trained volunteers. More than 70% of the cases mediated by the CMC reach a settlement.
4. Approach the Community Disputes Resolution Tribunal (CDRTs)
While mediation might be the preferred method of conflict resolution as solutions are based on mutual agreement, sometimes it doesn’t yield results. When this happens, filing a neighbour dispute claim with the Community Disputes Resolution Tribunals (CDRT), is the next option to consider. Under the Community Disputes Resolution Act (CDRA), acts of unreasonable interference by neighbours are dealt with. However, try speaking directly to your neighbour or using mediation before resorting to this so that neighbour relationships can still be preserved.
5. Make a police report
In extenuating circumstances, make a police report to protect yourself, your family and property. For arrestable offences such as disorderly behaviour or voluntarily causing hurt with a dangerous weapon, the police can arrest the alleged offender. A non-arrestable offence, however, requires that a warrant of arrest from the court be obtained first, in which case filing a Magistrate’s Complaint might be the next course of action.
6. Take proactive steps before you buy a new property
If it’s possible, it’s always better to avoid getting into situations with inconsiderate neighbours in the first place. If you’re buying a new flat or house, doing the due diligence before buying the property would lower the chances of you landing in a tricky situation down the road. Ask the current owners about their neighbours. If they hesitate, or seem to avoid the question, it’s not a good sign.
Learn more about Expat Insurance’s Home and Contents Insurance
Having great neighbours can make everyday living a joy. However, on the off chance you have nasty neighbours who are out to damage property, protecting your personal items, such as shoes, bicycles, sports equipment, vehicles or plants is advisable. In situations like these, having the right insurance can go a long way in ensuring any damage is insured.
Expat Insurance offers premium Home and Contents Insurance in Singapore so you can be sure hard-to-replace items are protected and you do not suffer unnecessary financial loss. Learn more about the various benefits of obtaining Home and Contents Insurance, such as protecting your valuables from theft or damage by fire or water. Our team of insurance advisors are always on hand to provide advice on how you can plug the gaps of your current plans in order to best protect yourself and your loved ones.