noisy neighbors

Discuss about life in Singapore. Ask about cost of living, housing, travel, etiquette & lifestyle. Share experience & advice with Singaporeans & expat staying in Singapore.
Post Reply
Edroche
Regular
Regular
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue, 04 Aug 2009 1:35 pm

Post by Edroche » Fri, 07 Jan 2011 2:39 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Welcome to the world of HDB. You have two choices. Get used to it. Move. Believe me, they are your only choices. Calling the Police will only get a response of something like "We don't handle this type of thing as they are not breaking any laws per se"

I know. I own an HDB flat.
Agreed. We will just have to get used to it but it’s a bit disappointing as we just bought the joint for over half a mill. The real issue was their all knowing attempt at giving the token ang moh a life lesson in how locals live, something they were immediately able to generalise with ease while almost all others in the block have their lights off/are not shouting at midnight. This is why we picked the neighbourhood. Then again in ways I guess ang mohs in HDBs are pioneers at the moment and I’ll put it down to some of that also. Singapore has got many things right when building the country that would put the west to shame but it’s a pubescent society and has some growing up to do – the compromises all ours to be made of course, its part of the deal.... Btw I haven’t heard a peep out of them since.

User avatar
nakatago
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8348
Joined: Tue, 01 Sep 2009 11:23 pm
Location: Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Children

Post by nakatago » Fri, 07 Jan 2011 4:34 pm

Edroche wrote:Singapore has got many things right when building the country that would put the west to shame but it’s a pubescent society and has some growing up to do – the compromises all ours to be made of course, its part of the deal.... Btw I haven’t heard a peep out of them since.
that's where "first world country with third world people" came from. :?
"A quokka is what would happen if there was an anime about kangaroos."

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16516
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 12:43 pm
Location: K. Puki Manis

Post by JR8 » Fri, 07 Jan 2011 5:13 pm

Reading this topic again I was struck by something Germangirl wrote in her original post:

'... i left notes asking politely to turn the volume down.... i talked to other neighbors, most don't want trouble [my italics]'

... and that folks, is why Singapore will remain a 'pubescent society' as edroche so delightfully puts it, for a very long time to come.

Blue Sapphire
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 220
Joined: Sat, 28 Jul 2007 1:22 am
Location: Central

Post by Blue Sapphire » Fri, 07 Jan 2011 10:49 pm

And what about the Swiss that complain when their neighbours' baby cries at night or if you even take a shower after 10pm because the running water annoys them. There's even one I heard of about a neighbour complaining on hearing toilet flushing! One day the guy had a stomach ache late at night and they called the police on him! Some people are just 'sensitive' towards noises.

My neighbour upstairs sometimes walk around as if she/he is wearing wooden clogs and we know when they are having dinner because we can hear the chairs being moved. I assume my neighbours below me probably hears my chairs moving too. Certain things as such you have to tolerate and understand, we live in one building together, it can't be helped. But excessive noise at odd hours and drilling on christmas eve is something else.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16516
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 12:43 pm
Location: K. Puki Manis

Post by JR8 » Fri, 07 Jan 2011 11:07 pm

And how is saxaphone and golf balls on the floor at 3am, to you?

Blue Sapphire
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 220
Joined: Sat, 28 Jul 2007 1:22 am
Location: Central

Post by Blue Sapphire » Sat, 08 Jan 2011 12:04 am

I did mention on my last sentence that excessive noise is something else at odd hours. Ofcourse thats intolerable. Didn't you read that? Or are you just jumping at me because you are Swiss and I commented on their noise intolerance?

User avatar
longstebe
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 257
Joined: Thu, 24 Sep 2009 1:50 pm
Location: Netherlands

Post by longstebe » Sat, 08 Jan 2011 2:28 pm

JR8, Swiss, your having a larf.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16516
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 12:43 pm
Location: K. Puki Manis

Post by JR8 » Sat, 08 Jan 2011 7:28 pm

longstebe wrote:JR8, Swiss, your having a larf.
Quite :)

I once lived above German neighbours in London, and their intolerance to noise was quite remarkable, even say music played at a moderate volume at 8pm on a Saturday evening. The number of times I had them banging on my front door! :roll:

There were three of them in a flatshare, and in the mornings the flat have a hive of activity as they prepared to leave for work. Unfortunately all the doors had automatic closers on them, so you'd have doors slamming up to several times a minute (one person going from a bathroom to the kitchen would go through 3 or 4 doors) for an hour or so on weekday mornings, then a less intense repeat in the evenings. This got very annoying so one evening I knocked on their door and asked them - very politely and calmly - if they would mind using floor wedges to prop open some of the doors (obviously not the bathrooms :) ). The earnest response was, together with a lot of sucking of the teeth and hamming and hawing, 'Well you know, this is a group decision, and we will have to have a house meeting to discuss it'!

As they say the German's are very sensitive to noise, except that of their own making!

p.s. I'm not suggesting that germangirl was being over-sensitive in her OP, just thought I'd mention this anecdote in passing...

User avatar
nakatago
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8348
Joined: Tue, 01 Sep 2009 11:23 pm
Location: Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Children

Post by nakatago » Sat, 08 Jan 2011 7:43 pm

JR8 wrote:
longstebe wrote:JR8, Swiss, your having a larf.
Quite :)

I once lived above German neighbours in London, and their intolerance to noise was quite remarkable, even say music played at a moderate volume at 8pm on a Saturday evening. The number of times I had them banging on my front door! :roll:

There were three of them in a flatshare, and in the mornings the flat have a hive of activity as they prepared to leave for work. Unfortunately all the doors had automatic closers on them, so you'd have doors slamming up to several times a minute (one person going from a bathroom to the kitchen would go through 3 or 4 doors) for an hour or so on weekday mornings, then a less intense repeat in the evenings. This got very annoying so one evening I knocked on their door and asked them - very politely and calmly - if they would mind using floor wedges to prop open some of the doors (obviously not the bathrooms :) ). The earnest response was, together with a lot of sucking of the teeth and hamming and hawing, 'Well you know, this is a group decision, and we will have to have a house meeting to discuss it'!

As they say the German's are very sensitive to noise, except that of their own making!

p.s. I'm not suggesting that germangirl was being over-sensitive in her OP, just thought I'd mention this anecdote in passing...
Hypocrites...

I won't be surprised if there are a lot of those here.
"A quokka is what would happen if there was an anime about kangaroos."

Jobo
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat, 08 Jan 2011 9:06 am
Location: New York

Post by Jobo » Tue, 11 Jan 2011 9:01 am

I have to say I've really enjoyed this thread. I wonder which people from which countries are responsible for all the noise in this world.

I have to say I lived in an apartment in Germany and the neighbors were quite "noise sensitive". The Germans living underneath us had two toddler boys and I swear you rarely heard a peep out of them. Plus, making any type of noise on a Sunday was strictly "verboten". The only thing they got excited about over there was soccer.

I also lived in an apartment building in an Asian neighborhood in new York. Mostly Chinese. It had to be the loudest building I ever lived in. A lot of door slamming all night and day. I personally find the sounds of other to be comforting, but maybe that's because I grew up in apartments in cities. I'll have 3 kids under 5 when I get to Singapore. Hope the neighbors will put up with us!

User avatar
QRM
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1831
Joined: Mon, 17 Oct 2005 5:23 pm
Location: Nassim hill

Post by QRM » Tue, 11 Jan 2011 9:21 am

Our apartment buildiing in Paris had a no shower/bath rule after 10pm because of the noise the 100 year old plumbing makes.

In the Uk a neigbour below us complained to the council, that we had wooden floors in our apartment and the lease stated all units must have carpets, I had to cover my lovely new wood floor with wall to wall carpets ( including the area in an open plan kitchen!.

She still complained of the noise, fortunately the council rep came over and figured out the old dear down stairs was getting a bit nutty. Any sound proofing works would be at her expense. Which credit to her she did pay for all of it in her apartment and mine.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16516
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 12:43 pm
Location: K. Puki Manis

Post by JR8 » Tue, 11 Jan 2011 5:10 pm

Jobo wrote:I have to say I've really enjoyed this thread. I wonder which people from which countries are responsible for all the noise in this world.

I have to say I lived in an apartment in Germany and the neighbors were quite "noise sensitive". The Germans living underneath us had two toddler boys and I swear you rarely heard a peep out of them. Plus, making any type of noise on a Sunday was strictly "verboten". The only thing they got excited about over there was soccer.

I also lived in an apartment building in an Asian neighborhood in new York. Mostly Chinese. It had to be the loudest building I ever lived in. A lot of door slamming all night and day. I personally find the sounds of other to be comforting, but maybe that's because I grew up in apartments in cities. I'll have 3 kids under 5 when I get to Singapore. Hope the neighbors will put up with us!

I've been through the mill with noise nuisance :cry:

What I find is that it is usually worse from above. It is logical, as you get three kinds of domestic noise transmission, ambient, impact and structural, and impact noise doesn't go up (unless the people below are hitting the ceiling with a laundry pole to try and shut you up ) :)

As it happens I am currently in Germany for a while, and a couple of weeks ago had to go and ask the neighbours upstairs if they could quieten their child down. He seems unable to walk anywhere (indoors or out), but he has a kinda stumbling run, from one end of the flat and back, and again, and again, over and over.... This is combined with wild unrestrained screaming, but also an extraordinary kind of perpetual very high pitched squeeling! :???: I've never experienced anything like it, the child appears to be about 5 years old. The family are south European and I am unsure if it a reflection of the let-them-do-as-they-like latin culture of bringing up children, or whether the child honestly has hyperactivity or psych issues. Downstairs are a Middle Eastern family with a toddler, maybe once a week I'll catch a brief sound of crying, otherwise we don't get a squeak out of them.

An irony is that despite the reputation that the Germans have for sensitivity to noise and strict rules etc, we currently have two sets of building works going on, one on the building in front of us, and the other on the one behind us. They have both been ongoing for weeks now. The one behind has always started by 7am latest, but one day last week they kicked off at 6am on the dot! The one in front, a big commerical gut/renovate must be over-running, because as a general rule you can't create noise pollution outside of 7am-8pm, Mon-Fri, and on Saturday morning [apparently in the state of Hesse you can't use a lawnmower between 12-3pm on any day!], but this week they worked all Satuday, and Sunday, and were still at it hammer and tongs at 11pm last night!

Anyway, best of luck with your Jobo!
Last edited by JR8 on Tue, 11 Jan 2011 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16516
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 12:43 pm
Location: K. Puki Manis

Post by JR8 » Tue, 11 Jan 2011 5:44 pm

QRM wrote:Our apartment buildiing in Paris had a no shower/bath rule after 10pm because of the noise the 100 year old plumbing makes.

In the Uk a neigbour below us complained to the council, that we had wooden floors in our apartment and the lease stated all units must have carpets, I had to cover my lovely new wood floor with wall to wall carpets ( including the area in an open plan kitchen!.

She still complained of the noise, fortunately the council rep came over and figured out the old dear down stairs was getting a bit nutty. Any sound proofing works would be at her expense. Which credit to her she did pay for all of it in her apartment and mine.
When we lived in NYC in a modern apartment building the bathrooms had ventilation grilles that must have fronted a communal vent duct that ran vertically down through the building. In our guest loo it was not unusual to be able to hear conversation from the unit below, and when their dog barked that came through loud and clear! :)

Ah, UK property law, wooden flooring and noise. Of this I am something of an expert :lol: :x The lease clause re: carpets is common in the leases of Victorian converted flats where the floors are pine floorboards over 6"*2" joists with the ceiling below being plasterboard (aka sheet-rock). Many of these leases are old, and the the carpet requirement dated from a time when they were often considered a luxury and people could barely afford to buy them, rather than they had a desire to lay parquet instead.

You need to look at the wording of any carpet clause very very carefully as there can be wiggle room if you want to lay timber flooring. For example in one building where I have a number of units the lease states that 'the floors must be fitted with carpets at all times'. Well, a large rug is also called a carpet, and that clause does not say wall-to-wall carpets, or fitted carpets. This became of consequence because myself and a neighbour were suing the then freeholder of that building. He sent us a notice to inspect the interiors of our properties (freeholders have a right to do this, but in reality never do so). So we knew that he was going to try and find issues to counter-pin on us. Anyway wooden flooring was and still is de rigeur in London, and we'd all had it installed. To circumvent that issue for the day of the inspections, we gathered from far and wide about 12 rugs and laid them out in the flats. Sure enough when the freeholder turned up he rubbed his chin and suggested we were obliged to have fitted carpets, to which we could reply 'No the lease requires the floors to be fitted with carpets, which they are'.

In another property in London the clause requires that 'The floors be fitted with carpets or other sound-deadening material'. So in that case I installed wooden floors but with a professional grade acoustic sound-proofing sub-floor of 10mm chipped rubber (and took lots of photos of it being installed as proof). The property below me in that building later installed wooden flooring, but used that 'insulation' you get in IKEA, you know sort of 2mm thick expanded polythene on a roll. Anyway they were made to rip out the whole lot by the people below them, on the basis the insulation was not adequate.

I actually wonder if in a case like yours QRM if you could lay carpet and then put wooden flooring on top of it! I'm considering that from a legal perspective more than a practical one (you would have carpet fitted, and any lease is most unlikely to define that the carpet must be the top-most layer!)... :)

User avatar
longstebe
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 257
Joined: Thu, 24 Sep 2009 1:50 pm
Location: Netherlands

Post by longstebe » Wed, 12 Jan 2011 1:10 pm

JR8, is there anywhere you haven't lived :lol:

I thought I was doing well with 4 different countries.

Hats off mate.

Edroche
Regular
Regular
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue, 04 Aug 2009 1:35 pm

Post by Edroche » Wed, 12 Jan 2011 1:22 pm

JR8 wrote:
longstebe wrote:JR8, Swiss, your having a larf.
Quite :)

I once lived above German neighbours in London, and their intolerance to noise was quite remarkable, even say music played at a moderate volume at 8pm on a Saturday evening. The number of times I had them banging on my front door! :roll:

There were three of them in a flatshare, and in the mornings the flat have a hive of activity as they prepared to leave for work. Unfortunately all the doors had automatic closers on them, so you'd have doors slamming up to several times a minute (one person going from a bathroom to the kitchen would go through 3 or 4 doors) for an hour or so on weekday mornings, then a less intense repeat in the evenings. This got very annoying so one evening I knocked on their door and asked them - very politely and calmly - if they would mind using floor wedges to prop open some of the doors (obviously not the bathrooms :) ). The earnest response was, together with a lot of sucking of the teeth and hamming and hawing, 'Well you know, this is a group decision, and we will have to have a house meeting to discuss it'!

As they say the German's are very sensitive to noise, except that of their own making!

p.s. I'm not suggesting that germangirl was being over-sensitive in her OP, just thought I'd mention this anecdote in passing...
Funnily enough I lived in Germany for years and the Ruhezeit/quiet time worked pretty well. Its just a way of life otherwise the neighbours will sort you out. That’s the difference I think, in Singapore people avoid normal and healthy confrontation. Its not the government that will change social behaviour here its the people keeping each other in check and laying down the rules. I've seen confrontation here but its usually some older folks flinging chopping-board singlish at each other and is also absolutely hilarious to watch.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Staying, Living in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests