How to Deal with Bad Neighbours in Singapore
There may be particular apartment amenities you’ll look for when you’re house-hunting. Natural lighting, a great view, and reasonable rents make it to the top of most people’s lists.
But what about the neighbours who’ll be living right next to you?
You might not be keen on a co-living situation and want your own place. However, you’ll still need to know how to deal with bad neighbours in Singapore just in case.
Try to resolve the conflict by communicating with your neighbour
Proper and respectful communication is still the best way to resolve disputes, whether it be among neighbours, family members, or work colleagues. Singapore’s HDB website describes this gesture as “building kampong spirit.”
Kampong is the spirit of community and solidarity among neighbours and underlines a positive approach to any of life’s problems.
Identifying the most appropriate time to broach the subject is key. So approach your neighbour when you’re relatively calm and not seething with rage.
You can ask them over for a cup of coffee to discuss matters and try to come up with a resolution together.
But if you’re introverted and can’t summon the courage to speak to your neighbour in person, consider sending them a text message on your smartphone, instead. Or you could send them a polite handwritten note and leave it at their door.
Approach a good mediation service
Sometimes, even the most well-meaning dialogues might not result in a positive outcome. That’s when you can engage professional mediation services through your Community Mediation Centre.
Doing this is a lot like troubled couples seeking marriage counselling in Singapore. The goal is to meet halfway and make the conversation both productive and civil.
You can also ask your landlord to mediate if the problem is something they have jurisdiction over. However, conflict resolution is best handled by trained individuals such as those with the Community Mediation Centre and other grassroots organisations.
Seek legal recourse via a Community Disputes Resolution Tribunal
Proper mediation aims to bring a neutral party to facilitate a dialogue between opposing views. It also keeps things from escalating and having to settle matters in court.
But sometimes, seeking legal advice might be the best recourse for misunderstanding among neighbours.
So if nothing positive comes out of communicating with your neighbour and having third-party mediators involved, it might be time to consult your lawyer.
A lawyer is well-versed in property law and its myths, so you’ll have someone qualified to represent you in the Community Disputes Resolution Tribunals (CDRT).
They can also help you file a claim with the State Courts or advise you on how best to settle neighbour disputes without resorting to suing one another.
File a police report if necessary
Nobody wants trouble or violence to happen, but if a bad neighbour is threatening you or your family’s security, it’s time to get the police involved.
Doing this can ensure that you’re protected until the matter is properly resolved and there’s no longer a threat of disorderly behaviour. However, the police won’t be able to make arrests unless what the neighbour has done is an arrestable offence.
Instead, you can file for a Magistrate’s Complaint along with the outcome you wish to have with the bad neighbour situation.
It could be a long and complicated process involving documentation and a Notary Public in Singapore, but it’s worth considering for some closure to your problem.