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SINGAPORE – Complaints about noisy neighbors surged during the Covid-19 pandemic, when many people were working or studying from home.

In 2022, the Housing Board (HDB) received approximately 27,600 complaints (an average of 2,300 feedback submissions per month) about noise from resident activities.

This number is more than five times the 4,800 cases HDB received in 2019. Monthly averages for complaints received in 2020 and 2021 were 2,500 and 3,200 respectively, the Municipal Office (MSO) said. The office is part of government efforts to improve the delivery of municipal services by public agencies.

One of the biggest noise concerns is noise between floors. This includes the sounds of furniture being dragged, marbles rolling, and doors slamming.

In order to deal with severe cases, MSO forms a unit In an attempt to settle a lingering and bitter dispute between neighboring countries, Senior State Minister for National Development Sim Ang announced during a parliamentary debate on the ministry’s budget on March 2:

Formed by the end of the year, the unit will take advantage of stronger legislation and work closely with police and other government agencies, as well as local mediators and courts as needed.

Governments will continue to encourage good communication and tolerance among neighbors, but will intervene to help resolve disputes in serious cases.

“Since neighborhood noise disputes typically do not require immediate attention, the MSO will either visit the neighborhood concerned or, if necessary, conduct further investigations within the next day or two. We believe it is a more sustainable approach to bringing reassurance to disgruntled neighbors and discouraging the willful weaponization of noise,” said an MSO spokesperson.

“We do not intervene early so that communities can maintain their capacity to resolve conflicts when conflict first arises. We will intervene at appropriate times to maintain

Over the years, authorities have taken steps to address the noise problem.

First responders such as the HDB and grassroots leaders have encouraged meaningful engagement among residents.

Residents who are still feuding are usually referred to the Ministry of Justice’s Regional Mediation Center for voluntary mediation. Failing that, residents can apply to the Court of Community Dispute Resolution (CDRT) for a court order to stop their neighbors from engaging in noise-causing behavior and seek damages of up to $20,000. increase.

The use of noise as a weapon to disrupt peace between neighbors is part of a new legal framework for compulsory mediation of community disputes announced by Second Minister of Justice Edwin Tong at the Ministry of Justice budget debate last week. increase.

Parties involved in noise-related disputes may face penalties if they do not attend the required sessions. Nor will they be able to file claims with his CDRT, he added. HDB will receive more than five times more noise complaints in 2022 than in 2019

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