Noise from HDB Neighbor (Would Condos be different?)

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 17 Dec 2012 4:28 pm

So basically, you should be paying a premium for have a touch of natural country sounds in the middle of the city? :lol:
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by the lynx » Mon, 17 Dec 2012 4:39 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:So basically, you should be paying a premium for have a touch of natural country sounds in the middle of the city? :lol:
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 17 Dec 2012 5:00 pm

Beauty! :D
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by ScoobyDoes » Mon, 17 Dec 2012 6:02 pm

Haha, yes and with that I'm going off to watch an old Bond film :P
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Post by byseeksconseil » Mon, 17 Dec 2012 7:10 pm

Hi JR8,

Thanks for the reply. It takes one in a similar situation (like yours) to understand my frustration.

I did my best to be friendly (at least not be all accusatory) when approaching the family. Not sure how it looked from their perspective though.

I know that some people could be (overly) protective of their children's behavior, thinking that their little darlings' right to be 'lively' trumps other people's right to quiet enjoyment. It's unfortunate.

Anyway, I talked again with my landlord and it was decided that she would contact HDB about it. We felt that HDB would take it more seriously if it is the owner that brings up the issue.
JR8 wrote:
byseeksconseil wrote:Hi, yes. I did talk to the family, twice (I think I mentioned this in one sentence in the post - but it was a long post so I can imagine how that can be skipped over).

Sorry it seems that I missed it on my first read. In my experience people are often oblivious if they are causing a noise nuisance. This is why before approaching them you have to take take a few deep breaths, let go of any pent-up frustration, so when you knock on their door you can do it calmly and with a friendly smile on your face. Yes I know it's very very hard :). But visiting them and being angry will probably achieve nothing, and could even make it worse as they seek to 'get their own back' on you.

I've had to do this a few times where I lived (London) below a ballet choreographer who would practice step/jump routines maybe 100 times in a row in her lounge. Another time a household of young professionals (London) who had door-closers on every door that were over-tightened, so between say 7-8.30am each morning you'd have doors slamming maybe 50+ times, so heavily that things in my apartment would shake. An irony was that if I so much as put some music on after c8pm they'd be up like a shot hammering on my front door.

In Singapore, I had a neighbour who on weekends would come home at c2am and start playing saxophone (!!). I had a theory that perhaps he played in a club or similar. The condo management office inter-faced on that one. Just this past two weeks we've been having a problem with the family upstairs, where their toddler is bouncing a marble or similar on the stone tile floors.... 'Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap tap, tap tapa tapa tappppp' over and over and over. Trust me I've had visions of going up and grabbing the child by the flipping throat and stuffing his marble down it! I've tried yelling, hitting the ceiling with a broom-stick, speaking to their nanny... not much has changed... Grrr.... I feel your pain!


But there has not been much improvement.

The first time, the father was trying to deny there was any noise from them ("Noise? Not really.", he said).

This is the thing, it is easy for someone to take it as a personal criticism from a complete stranger, so automatically respond defensively. Ask yourself though, how could he possibly know what is sounds like in your flat.


The second time, the father blamed it on his 6-year-old son and said he did not want to see me any more.

Age is no excuse, it is the parent's responsibility. Naturally you can expect say a baby to cry at times, that's life. But heavy foot-steps can be reduced to a point of not causing a nuisance.


The son was contributing to the problem by running and moving furniture. But I feel that the rest of the family were heavy walkers as well.

Yes some people just are naturally heavy walkers. I would go and speak to HDB about it. In such matters it can be cathartic to discuss it with other's who have some jurisdiction/expertise.


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Post by JR8 » Mon, 17 Dec 2012 11:33 pm

"x9200" = Brown font, later switching to dark red!
I think with the condos it is easier to enforce something mainly for the reason you mentioned: the security and also in terms of response time. You call the security, they arrive in 5 min, they listen, go upstairs and later report to the management. I don't think HDB can come even close to it. A different question is what if this is a really difficult owner. EU has a law allowing to deal with such owners and in the worst case scenario the court can decide to sell the apartment on public auction and evict the owner. I doubt anything like this is here.



JR8 = True Blue :)
In England I would just go and talk to the neighbours and that would hopefully be that. If not then I’d go via the council to escalate it. Here right now I have the language barrier as an added challenge. When I see their nanny again (I just typed ‘maid’ there hahaha..., well, she is Pinay) I will have a chat with her again. I realise it’s not her responsibility, but she is switched on and might be the simplest avenue.

In London I think councils ‘by charter’ have to respond (from the resident’s initial report of a problem, to on-site attendance) within an hour. It’s often around 30-40 mins in my experience. If they can do that in London, in fact across the UK, why not SG? Lack of will, resources, likely to be abused, would generate too many legitimate complaints, too many malicious ones... ?

Difficult owner? The law doesn’t bend to tolerate the difficult. I once had neighbours upstairs in London who had ridiculously loud all-night parties. The Noise Team came once, issued a warning, nothing changed. Twice, ditto. Third time when the tenants were threatened with ‘up to a £20,000 fine next time’, and they moved out a month later.



No you did not, but WD40 also did not say his kids had right to play making any level of noise so you must have some assumption this or that way. Me in turn waned to point out that actually we don't know hat kind of noise level we are talking about as per the OP problem and I think it is false to assume it is always an excessive noise what can be the annoyance to the neighbours.
Talking about Chinese Water Torture. I was living for a few years in Holland renting a flat in a public housing and having, I think, a gay couple right above my flat and it was not only that I could have heard a single step when somebody walked upstairs but their sex life in the middle of the night was also pretty loud. This was the only flat I ever lived where I actually felt the floor vibrating when I was walking so something to do with the construction too. I managed to get their sex life under control using a broom stick but the resonating floor was just something typical of this building so I ended up using ear plugs.


WD40 said ‘I mean come on if my kid wants to play in my house, I wouldn't let anyone interfere with it. Thats our right.’: This within a discussion about noise-nuisance. I’m not sure how else it could be interpreted.

I agree that the tolerance of noise is personally subjective. The first all night party: ‘Absolutely no problem’, the seventh time they’ve woken you up 2-3 hours earlier than you wished, no so funny.


So how would they handle the case you described below (the marble ball bouncing)?

Precisely, it’s difficult. IME you’d hope your politely pointing out a problem would resolve it, especially how super-pedantic the natives here can be on noise diturbance. It’s too transient that even if the council here had a Noise Team I doubt it would help.

Yes, but again, this seems to be your assumption that we are talking about an extensive levels of noise while this is not necessarily the case.

Yes it’s subjective as I have said, however it is well within what I believe would be considered a Statutory Nuisance (or breach of Quiet Enjoyment), both in Singapore and the UK. Good enough?

Of course not. I would definitely consider it as an excessive noise, but I would not what I mentioned earlier, if something drops on the floor once for a while or some furniture gets moved with the same frequency etc.

I forget the specifics of the other’s post to which you refer. But it left an impression that their problem was habitual rather than ‘once in a while’. Once in a while is fine, it’s give and take, it is when it is habitual and nothing will change it, that it gets to you and hence can becomes personal.

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Post by x9200 » Tue, 18 Dec 2012 12:24 pm

JR8: In London I think councils ‘by charter’ have to respond (from the resident’s initial report of a problem, to on-site attendance) within an hour. It’s often around 30-40 mins in my experience. If they can do that in London, in fact across the UK, why not SG? Lack of will, resources, likely to be abused, would generate too many legitimate complaints, too many malicious ones... ?

X9200 (current): Many things around are like this one. In principle they can have it in SG, in reality they are probably not willing. The response is linked to the pragmatic weight of the problem. How much is the image of Singapore and the domestic situation going to change if such regulations would be in place and get properly executed? Not much IMHO.

WD40 said ‘I mean come on if my kid wants to play in my house, I wouldn't let anyone interfere with it. Thats our right.’: This within a discussion about noise-nuisance. I’m not sure how else it could be interpreted.

Can be easily. You just need to assume the OP faces no objective issue and the OP's neighbours are Singapore average in an average HDB housing. That was my impression and later assumption reading the initial post and this is the context of my responses.

I agree that the tolerance of noise is personally subjective. The first all night party: ‘Absolutely no problem’, the seventh time they’ve woken you up 2-3 hours earlier than you wished, no so funny.

Nothing indicates IMVHO that this is the situation faced by OP or anything close to it.

X9200 (past) So how would they handle the case you described below (the marble ball bouncing)?

Precisely, it’s difficult. IME you’d hope your politely pointing out a problem would resolve it, especially how super-pedantic the natives here can be on noise diturbance. It’s too transient that even if the council here had a Noise Team I doubt it would help.

Agree. Going upstairs and talking should be the first thing to do. Later, if ineffective, happy or not there is not too much that can be done.

Yes it’s subjective as I have said, however it is well within what I believe would be considered a Statutory Nuisance (or breach of Quiet Enjoyment), both in Singapore and the UK. Good enough?

Sorry but not :) We have no base to determine this (within the context of the initial post). I bet we both think and feel on the subject pretty much the same but with individual biases, yours towards the assumption there neighbours are objectively noisy, mine that they are within the acceptable average.

I forget the specifics of the other’s post to which you refer. But it left an impression that their problem was habitual rather than ‘once in a while’. Once in a while is fine, it’s give and take, it is when it is habitual and nothing will change it, that it gets to you and hence can becomes personal.

Sorry, I think it was me who mixed up this sub-topic with the OP story. Above, I was referring to your example of the marble banging and linked it to the WD40 playing kid situation. No direct link to the OP situation.

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Post by beppi » Tue, 18 Dec 2012 5:52 pm

I think this has been discussed on this forum before: The "marble ball bouncing" is a common sound the structure of some buildings emit in response to temperature changes. In almost all cases, it is NOT caused by the neighbour above. As such, there is also nothing that can be done about it.

Apart from that, Asians do prefer to live "with" each other, rather than the Western "apart", and you will not generate understanding or goodwill by complaining about the noise or other side effects of it. If you really can't stand it, move!

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Post by JR8 » Tue, 18 Dec 2012 6:56 pm

beppi wrote:I think this has been discussed on this forum before: The "marble ball bouncing" is a common sound the structure of some buildings emit in response to temperature changes. In almost all cases, it is NOT caused by the neighbour above. As such, there is also nothing that can be done about it.
Hmmm, I wonder how it occurs. Maybe it is periodic bouts of expansion/contraction from steel H-beams or something. If so I can see how it might occur in SG. Honestly though I can't say I've experienced it as an inherent structural issue anywhere in the world. I may have said that we had similar in SG one time, but that was a Korean neighbour bouncing a golf-ball on the tiled floor above. In any case where I am now the structural walls will be brick, and the floor joists will be timber. There are other reasons... but none of this will help resolve the matter. So.
beppi wrote:Apart from that, Asians do prefer to live "with" each other, rather than the Western "apart", and you will not generate understanding or goodwill by complaining about the noise or other side effects of it. If you really can't stand it, move!

Er, is this comment for me or the OP, though in fact is seems to apply to neither of our circumstances?


p.s.
X9, thanks for your reply. I have to admit that I'm rather losing track of who is saying what about whom. So the matter has rather 'shunted itself into the sidings'. If any new and clearly defined matters come up afresh, I'm happy to try and give a considered opinion as best I can. Thx.

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Post by Steve1960 » Thu, 27 Dec 2012 1:15 pm

A couple of months after we moved here to an HDB apartment our neighbour across the hall way complained to the HDB about excessive noise. We traced it back to an evening where I returned from a business trip and my wife and daughter were a little over enthusiastic to see me with the front door still open :oops:

It was all very civilised, our agent notified us of the complaint, we identified why it happened and assured the HDB it would not happen again. It seemed a very civilised system to me but that could be just my limited exposure.

We have never heard any noise from above and so far our neighbours below have not complained so I guess we are lucky.

3 weeks after the guy complained about us there was an almighty argument and banging doors around 11pm. It seems the guy had a blazing row with his wife and it spilled over into the corridor. I hope he felt more than a little guilty!

I think I smoothed it over by giving them some of my daughters Birthday cake in November and a Christmas card earlier this week. It's better not to make an enemy of a neighbour I think, it makes life tougher than it needs to be.

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Post by JR8 » Thu, 27 Dec 2012 7:40 pm

Steve1960 wrote:A couple of months after we moved here to an HDB apartment our neighbour across the hall way complained to the HDB about excessive noise. We traced it back to an evening where I returned from a business trip and my wife and daughter were a little over enthusiastic to see me with the front door still open :oops:

It was all very civilised, our agent notified us of the complaint, we identified why it happened and assured the HDB it would not happen again. It seemed a very civilised system to me but that could be just my limited exposure.
It sounds lacking in civility to me. Do you think there was a reason why they could not have simply opened their door, and with a 'strained smile' asked you to keep it down a bit, rather than go through an official complaint procedure?

I'm actually surprised that HDB will act upon a neighbouring tenant's word, given how subjective noise being a problem is. The department that issues those letters must be busy people considering the passive/aggressive-vindictive nature of some SGns.


Steve1960 wrote: We have never heard any noise from above and so far our neighbours below have not complained so I guess we are lucky.

3 weeks after the guy complained about us there was an almighty argument and banging doors around 11pm. It seems the guy had a blazing row with his wife and it spilled over into the corridor. I hope he felt more than a little guilty!
Guilty; unlikely, why should he? He is not your 'neighbour', he is the guy who lives in the next door unit who apparently doesn't like you.
Steve1960 wrote: I think I smoothed it over by giving them some of my daughters Birthday cake in November and a Christmas card earlier this week. It's better not to make an enemy of a neighbour I think, it makes life tougher than it needs to be.
Hats off to you for demonstrating the true spirit of Christmas (and/or Christianity), and 'turning the other cheek'. I and I expect many other people would relish the chance to get a tit-for-tat complaint in :twisted: :P :lol:

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Post by nutnut » Fri, 28 Dec 2012 11:14 am

Sounds like you should have chose the top floor since you have tolerance for people making any noise at all in their own property... To assume that you would hear nothing from upstairs because the floors were concrete is a little naive and certainly the upstairs neighbours cannot be blamed for footsteps and moving chairs in and out of their dining tables.

I'm glad you don't live below me (I am sure you would be too!) because if we are in, we are suitably noisy during the day, which we have every right to be

If you want peace and quiet, go sit in a park or rent a house.
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Post by Steve1960 » Fri, 28 Dec 2012 1:04 pm

JR8 wrote:
Steve1960 wrote:A couple of months after we moved here to an HDB apartment our neighbour across the hall way complained to the HDB about excessive noise. We traced it back to an evening where I returned from a business trip and my wife and daughter were a little over enthusiastic to see me with the front door still open :oops:

It was all very civilised, our agent notified us of the complaint, we identified why it happened and assured the HDB it would not happen again. It seemed a very civilised system to me but that could be just my limited exposure.
It sounds lacking in civility to me. Do you think there was a reason why they could not have simply opened their door, and with a 'strained smile' asked you to keep it down a bit, rather than go through an official complaint procedure?

I'm actually surprised that HDB will act upon a neighbouring tenant's word, given how subjective noise being a problem is. The department that issues those letters must be busy people considering the passive/aggressive-vindictive nature of some SGns.


Steve1960 wrote: We have never heard any noise from above and so far our neighbours below have not complained so I guess we are lucky.

3 weeks after the guy complained about us there was an almighty argument and banging doors around 11pm. It seems the guy had a blazing row with his wife and it spilled over into the corridor. I hope he felt more than a little guilty!
Guilty; unlikely, why should he? He is not your 'neighbour', he is the guy who lives in the next door unit who apparently doesn't like you.
Steve1960 wrote: I think I smoothed it over by giving them some of my daughters Birthday cake in November and a Christmas card earlier this week. It's better not to make an enemy of a neighbour I think, it makes life tougher than it needs to be.
Hats off to you for demonstrating the true spirit of Christmas (and/or Christianity), and 'turning the other cheek'. I and I expect many other people would relish the chance to get a tit-for-tat complaint in :twisted: :P :lol:
Yea, I was trying to be charitable but I have to say the guy is a real miserable so and so! He has a face like he is constantly sucking a lemon!!Even when I handed him the Birthday cake the first words out of his mouth were 'Oh that's too much'. Still I have better things to do than go to war with the neighbour.

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foreign students cautch noise

Post by colinlee » Sun, 30 Dec 2012 10:14 pm

my neiborgh flat rent out his appartment to foreign students and they are partying every which so noisy. finally i give up and move to a condo in Bishan st
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Re: foreign students cautch noise

Post by zzm9980 » Mon, 31 Dec 2012 11:46 am

colinlee wrote:my neiborgh flat rent out his appartment to foreign students and they are partying every which so noisy. finally i give up and move to a condo in Bishan st
You have enough disposable cash to just up and move to a condo in Bishan (not exactly a cheap area) because of noise? Either you have more cash than brains, or your post is BS. Or both.

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