Handling Neighbour Disputes

Buying Property Guide

One way to force people into accepting individual faults and quirks is to make them live together. Eventually, familiarity will provide the buffer needed to ignore most things we may find offensive about others.

Unfortunately, even the closest of friends get into fights. What more for neighbours who live in moderate tolerance of each other while being packed like sardines in the new flats?

This is especially so for expatriates and New Citizens who are not used to the way of life in Singapore and the easy-going tolerance we have perfected from years of living together in a multi-racial society.

To help settle neighbour disputes in the event that it cannot be resolved amicably between the two concerning parties for whatever reason, HDB has prepared a couple of avenues for discourse to continue with an external governing party.

The Resident's Committee and the Community Mediation Centre (CMC) can assist you if your neighbour is refusing to come to terms with any grievances you may have with them. The CMC can be contacted at 6325 1600.

Additionally, you can e-mail mlaw_hq_cmc@mlaw.gov.sg for further assistance.

If the situation continues to worsen and you feel you have to lodge a formal complaint, you can do so in writing to the Magistrate's Complaints Counter at the Crime Registry, Subordinate Courts. In most cases, these types of domestic issues are handled by the Neighbourhood Court which deals specifically with neighbourly disputes.

The Magistrate can do one of three things:

1. It can direct your complaint to the police

2. Dismiss it if the grounds that the complaint possess insufficient information such as the offence not being disclosed in the letter

3. Request you and your neighbour to attend a mediation session before the Magistrate or Mediator

If you and your neighbour end up attending a mediation session, two things can happen:

1. You prepare charges against your neighbour if the mediation fails so that a summons may be issued against him/her

2. The Magistrate Complaint may be withdrawn if the mediation session is successful in resolving the situation

For more information on how to lodge a Magistrate's Complaint, please click here

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