Hougang man, 57, calls police 80 times a year over noise he believes his neighbour makes upstairs

The sound could be from anywhere though.

Karen Lui | January 20, 2021, 11:35 AM

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A 57-year-old retiree who lives on Hougang Street 52 has had it with the noise generated by his neighbour living directly upstairs.

The middle-aged man, identified only as Lu by Lianhe Wanbao, said various loud noises frequently came from the unit above over the past year and he has provided feedback to the resident living upstairs him many times.

The situation has yet to improve.

On Jan. 18, Lu told Wanbao: "There is no use telling them about it, the noises do not stop, hence we have no choice but to report to the police."

Started in late 2019

Lu claimed that the problem started in late 2019.

Initially, the noise came from what sounded like children running.

Subsequently, he would hear noises of chairs dragging against the floor.

Lu said: "The worst thing was the frequent door-slamming noises coming from upstairs."

As Lu has already retired, he spends most of his time with his wife at home.

The couple have been unable to have a good rest due to the disturbances.

Calls police 8 times a day

According to Lu, he could call the police up to eight times a day when the noise level reaches an unbearable level.

Last year, he said he believes he has called the police around 80 times over the noise disturbance issue.

Seeing that the police may not be able to help much, he decided to file a Community Disputes Resolution Act (CDRA) to resolve this issue.

Used decibel meter to measure noise level

In order to gather evidence, the middle-aged man borrowed a decibel meter to measure the noise level.

Last year, he filed the CDRA but the case was closed in November due to his inability to prove that the noise originated from the unit upstairs.

As a result, he failed to file for a court order.

Noise level

Lu disclosed that he has recorded the noise level many times, with the highest measurement being 80 decibels (dB).

In a video he showed, the recorded measurement was up to 60 dB. "Obviously the noises are coming from upstairs. Who could it be if it's not them?"

Noise measurement

Offices generally have a noise level of between 40 dB to 50 dB.

A conversation between two people will register an average of 60 dB to 70 dB.

A busy road can record a noise level of around 70 dB to 80 dB.

Noise not necessarily from upstairs: Engineer

When reached for comment, Chong Kee Sen, an ex-president of The Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES), explained about similar situations previously.

Due to the connection of the floors between each HDB unit, the noises that residents hear may not necessarily come from the unit directly above them.

Chong added that as sound travels through objects, it can be difficult to discern its source.

The neighbour upstairs

On Jan. 18, in an interview with Wanbao, the 70-year-old couple who lives above Lu insisted that the noise was not coming from their unit.

The elderly man who wishes to remain anonymous, shared that around four years ago, the chairs and tables at home have already been protected with rubber padding and the door has been attached with the door stopper.

He explained that at that time, his granddaughter had just started to learn how to walk.

Due to their instability, children have a tendency to knock into chairs and tables.

In order to prevent the screeching noises of furniture dragging against the floor, he and his wife attached rubber padding to the bottom of the furniture.

"The doors at home also have door stoppers to prevent children from shutting the doors too forcefully, which causes a loud noise," he added.

The thing that frustrates the elderly man was that regardless of his due diligence, as well as explaining to Lu countless of times, the neighbour downstairs still called the police many times in the past year.

There were times when the police showed up at his doorstep twice in the same day.

He said: "We really didn't cause the noise disturbance but he refuses to believe it. At this rate, it's going to be really exhausting."

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Top images by Charles Gullung on Getty Images and Lazada.