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Residents residing in the Yishun HDB flats have lodged complaints regarding the actions of an elderly woman who lives alone in one of the units. 

The residents have expressed their dissatisfaction with the elderly woman’s behaviour, notably Ms Yang, a 49-year-old cashier living in Block 726, Yishun Street 71.

Instead of allowing the water from the block’s monthly cleaning to dry naturally, the elderly woman takes it upon herself to use a broom and push the stagnant water towards Ms Yang’s door, causing inconvenience and frustration.

Furthermore, whenever she confronts the elderly woman about the issue, the woman denies any responsibility for the water sweeping. 

Instead, she shifts the blame onto Ms Yang and her husband, accusing them of leaving stagnant water in front of her door first.

Despite Ms Yang’s numerous attempts to explain and reason with the elderly woman, the situation does not improve, and the woman responds by engaging in loud scolding matches, exacerbating the tensions between them.

Elderly Neighbour Would Sweep Stagnant Water Into Neighbouring Unit Monthly

The conflict between Ms Yang and the elderly woman reached a boiling point in March 2023, when Ms Yang felt it necessary to involve the police in intervention. 

Despite their involvement, the elderly woman persisted in her inconsiderate actions.

Image: Lianhe Zaobao

According to Ms Yang, the main issue arises when the cleaners visit their block monthly to clean the corridors.

The elderly woman sweeps the excess water left by the cleaners using a broom every time they visit. 

As a result, stagnant water accumulates around Ms Yang’s unit, posing a potential risk of dengue if the water is not promptly cleared.

Furthermore, the elderly woman adds to the frustration by pouring disinfectant in front of Ms Yang’s door, emitting an unpleasant chemical smell. 

This forces Ms Yang to keep her windows closed to prevent the odour from infiltrating her home.

In addition to these issues, the elderly woman occasionally sweeps fallen leaves from the corridor and falsely attributes them to plants inside Ms Yang’s home. 

Even though the leaves actually originate from potted plants near the elderly woman’s residence or from a nearby tree, she insists that they come from Ms Yang’s home.

Things between her and her elderly neighbour didn’t always use to be this icy as she claimed to have had a good relationship with the elderly woman.

She claimed that the elderly woman didn’t use to display the abovementioned eccentric behaviours and would engage in friendly conversations about their families with her. 

However, following the Chinese New Year, the elderly woman’s behaviour changed from March 2023, becoming increasingly eccentric and causing distress to Ms Yang.

Elderly Women Also Inconveniences HDB Block With Loud Noises

According to Lianhe Zaobao’s reports, the elderly woman appeared to live alone.

Their reporters made two visits to her home, including one on the afternoon of 22 May 2023. 

Despite knocking on the door multiple times, there was no response, although the window appeared open.

In addition to the issue of sweeping stagnant water into her neighbour’s unit, the elderly woman is also accused of frequently closing her door forcefully, resulting in loud noises that startle other residents on the same floor. 

Susanna, a 60-year-old resident living on the same floor, confirmed that she had personally experienced being startled by the loud noise caused by the elderly woman’s door slamming shut. 

She expressed a sense of helplessness in finding a resolution to the problem

Inconsiderate Neighbours Are Not Uncommon in Singapore

On 9 July 2021, a woman was accused of harassment for repeatedly pouring soapy water from her unit into her neighbour’s unit. 

Like the elderly woman, she attempted to deny the allegations by claiming she was just cleaning her neighbour’s dirty roof

In addition to the water pouring incident, the woman was accused of causing noise pollution by bouncing a basketball at random times of the day, disturbing her neighbours.

These cases of noise pollution and inconsiderate behaviour by neighbours have become increasingly problematic, with such cases rising by approximately 25% to 3,200 per month in 2021, compared to 2,500 cases in 2020. 

In 2022, a community advisory panel was established to address the issue of noise disputes within neighbourhoods. 

The panel aims to gather public feedback and determine what constitutes unacceptable noise disturbances. 

The government will use then these guidelines to provide public advisories and assist in mediating disputes at the Community Disputes Resolution Tribunal (CDRT).

In cases like the one involving Ms Yang, where the dispute is more severe, neighbours will be encouraged to undergo mediation before seeking a ruling from the community tribunal. 

This aligns with the Community Dispute Management Framework (CDMF) introduced in 2014, which aims to manage conflicts between neighbours. 

However, many individuals often hesitate to consider this approach despite the availability of mediation services. 

To address this, authorities are considering making mediation mandatory, as it has been observed that disputes that undergo mediation are frequently resolved successfully. 

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