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Singaporean endures two-year torment as neighbour relentlessly knocks on HDB flat wall

Enduring relentless neighbor harassment for two years in his HDB flat , 63-year-old driver Mr Xu faces a health crisis and homelessness.

Escalating disruptions, from wall pounding to urine incidents, force him to sleep in his car, seeking refuge from the escalating danger at home.

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Mr Xu's wall

SINGAPORE: A 63-year-old private hire vehicle driver, Mr Xu, residing in Block 44 Beo Crescent near Tiong Bahru, has been enduring a distressing situation for the past two years.

He claimed that his neighbour subjected him to incessant knocking on his living room and bedroom walls, compelling him to spend every night sleeping in his car.

Initially, Mr Xu recounted how the disturbance began with his neighbour using only his hands to hammer the wall.

However, the situation escalated within a week, with the neighbour employing a tool, suspected to be a hammer, to vigorously pound on the shared wall.

The relentless nature of these disturbances, occurring both during the day and late at night, took a toll on Mr Xu’s mental well-being.

Over the course of the two-year ordeal, Mr Xu disclosed that he and his wife were subjected to sudden and deafening knocks on their walls every few hours.

The unpredictability of these noises became a source of fear for the couple, as the intrusive sounds disrupted their peace and quiet.

In an interview with Shin Min Daily News, Mr Xu expressed the profound impact of the relentless knocking, describing how it created an atmosphere of fear within their home.

The disturbances, ranging from daytime to late-night hours, left the couple on edge, with the abrupt and thunderous knocks exacerbating their anxiety.

The ongoing situation compelled Mr Xu to seek refuge in his car for a peaceful night’s sleep, highlighting the profound impact of his neighbour’s actions on his daily life.

Neighbour’s relentless aggression takes toll on Mr Xu’s mental and physical well-being over two-year ordeal

Mr Xu has faced a challenging situation for the past two years, grappling with the disruptive behaviour of his neighbour.

Despite his attempts to address the issue directly, Mr Xu described his neighbour as a “very fierce” person, leading him to choose tolerance over confrontation.

The decision to endure the neighbour’s behaviour took a toll on Mr Xu’s well-being. Fearful of potential physical conflicts, he opted to tolerate the aggression, resulting in a prolonged period of mental pressure.

This stress manifested physically, causing him to lose a substantial amount of weight – from 70 kilograms to 64 kilograms over the two-year span.

The impact of this emotional strain became evident in the emergence of anxiety symptoms.

Under the weight of constant disturbances, Mr Xu sought relief from traditional Chinese medicine.

Following the advice of a doctor, he resorted to heart-buoyant pills to safeguard his heart amidst the ongoing stress.

The combination of emotional turmoil and physical symptoms created a vicious cycle, further exacerbating Mr. Xu’s struggles.

The adverse effects of the situation extended into Mr Xu’s daily life, affecting his ability to function normally.

Sleep deprivation became a significant issue, with Mr Xu expressing how the nighttime disturbances prevented him from getting adequate rest.

This, in turn, had a cascading effect on his daytime activities, notably impacting his job as a driver.

Neighbors’ unrelenting disturbances force couple into nomadic existence and drastic lifestyle changes

The breaking point for Mr Xu and his wife occurred on 16 October 2023, when their neighbour’s incessant wall-banging reached a distressing climax, lasting for an unbearable four hours.

The toll on Mr Xu’s health became evident as his heart began to falter, prompting him to seek urgent medical attention.

Fearing for their well-being, the couple made a pivotal decision—they could no longer endure the torment in their own home.

Following the incident, Mr Xu, grappling with the aftermath of his health scare, opted for a temporary refuge, choosing to spend each night in his car.

His wife, similarly affected by the relentless disturbances, sought solace with her siblings, creating a temporary but necessary separation to escape the hostile environment.

In the wake of that fateful day, the couple found themselves in a state of disarray, unable to return to the place they once called home.

The couple’s lives transformed into a nomadic existence, defined by the struggle to find a sanctuary away from the disruptive neighbour.

Mr Xu’s daily routine shifted to a delicate balance between work during the day and seeking shelter in the confined space of his car during the night.

The once-stable foundation of their home shattered, leaving them in a state of uncertainty and displacement.

Mr Xu’s home invasion chronicles unveil aggressive acts and structural concerns

The disturbing incidents in Mr Xu’s life continued to escalate, revealing a pattern of aggressive and destructive behaviour by his neighbour.

One shocking discovery made by Mr Xu’s wife heightened their sense of vulnerability—upon returning home to retrieve some items, she stumbled upon an 8cm-sized hole in their living room wall.

The aftermath of this intrusion was further emphasized by a significant amount of wall plaster scattered across the floor, emphasizing the neighbour’s blatant disregard for their shared living space.

As if the violation of their home was not enough, Mr Xu recounted another disconcerting incident that took place on 9 December, when he, accompanied by a police officer, conducted an investigation.

To their horror, they discovered urine in the living room, leading Mr Xu to speculate that his neighbour had maliciously poured urine into their flat from an adjacent window.

The increasing intensity and audacity of these actions left Mr Xu and his wife grappling with not only the invasion of their privacy but also concerns about the potential harm to their health and safety.

The fear and uncertainty continued to mount as Mr Xu reflected on the ongoing harassment.

Recounting an incident where a large piece of lime fell to the ground after the neighbour “knocked” through the wall, Mr Xu expressed genuine concern about the immediate dangers they faced.

Mr Xu’s anxiety extended beyond personal safety, encompassing worries about the structural integrity of their residence.

The relentless knocking and destructive actions prompted him to question the stability of various areas within their home and raised concerns about the long-term impact on the building’s structure.

The once-secure haven had transformed into a place fraught with physical dangers and structural uncertainties.

Mr Xu seeks urgent assistance as authorities grapple with neighbor dispute

Despite Mr Xu’s persistent efforts to seek assistance from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) and law enforcement agencies over the course of the last two years, his quest for resolution faced significant obstacles.

The inability to open his door for HDB officials and police officers rendered them powerless to intervene effectively in the escalating neighbour dispute.

In an attempt to find a middle ground, Mr Xu took the initiative to apply for mediation through the courts.

However, this avenue proved futile as his neighbour adamantly refused to participate in the mediation process, hindering any potential resolution.

With legal channels exhausted and their living situation reaching an untenable state, Mr Xu expressed a desperate plea for intervention from the authorities.

In their current state of vulnerability and homelessness, the primary hope for Mr Xu and his wife rested on the authorities swiftly arranging a new place for them to rent—a place they could finally call home.

The plea echoed the profound desire for a resolution and a return to a sense of normalcy after enduring the harrowing experiences of the past two months.

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HDB does not care if a tenant damages their property? Ridiculous.

The Singapore penal code contains numerous colonial-era laws that could be used to charge the offending neighbour in question. Yet the SPF cannot do anything? Simply laughable. Is it because the neighbour supports the ruling party?

SPF might as well just become an arm of the ruling party instead of masquerading as a “Police” force for the nation.

Another perception generated to confirm SPF, Judiciary only zero in on to hammer Opposition politicians funded by tax payers money – when 80 per cent of sheeps live in flats, where are the necessary action to enforce peaceful living. Can a COI be formed, to find out negligence of services to tax payers. ?

Long story but very little on when the suffering couple contacted the police, and what actions the authorities did once a complain was made. Making loud noises after 9-10pm is an offense, which the SPF can do something about it . . . if they want to bother. Maybe not in Ridout area or not Districts 10-11, so the issue was considered a “domestic affair” by SPF – leave it to the parties to settle themselves, hor?

Four bloody hours of incessant tortuous banging !!!

What about all thee other adjoining neighbours ?!!

Noise, especially physical banging or hammering, … travels and reverberates.

Can’t they hear it, or were they unaffected by it, or, … did they simply chose not to be involved, for fear of reprisals ?!!

Such trouble/noise makers, … should be banned from occupying public housing in any capacity, if they can’t behave.

And if it’s a mental issue, … until a doctor signs them off, they should remain ousted from civility.

From reading the article, the Xu couple seemed to seek official help only in Oct 2023. Prior to that, they suffered in “silence” preferring a policy of appeasement rather than confrontation because the neighbour was an aggressive person. Or did I read wrong? No matter when the police or HDB were involved, the case does show the uselessness of the police and HDB. When it suits the police, they will religiously follow the law. And in instances such as in this case, the police will claim their hands are tied. We are aware that the neighbour-from-hell cases are very common.… Read more »

both HDB & SPF cant even work together to solve this case …
If the law cant protect us citizens then who can?
Totally absurd …

i don’t geddit. house breaking and vandalism should be enough for cops to arrest him. or need to scratch a rich pappies’ car then can count as vandalism?

The police should have arrested the offender and taken him for a mental health review. This is public nuisance. It is unfair for the victims to have to move out while the perpetrator continues to live in his flat. HDB, the owner of the lease should step in to take back the flat.

My neighbour above me smokes. He stands at his window and smokes,,, flicks cigarette ash and it falls throw my window. Smoke floats into my room. He smokes at the kitchen window too. His mother washes her hair and combs her wet hair, throwing loose hair out of the kitchen window. His mother washes clothes but refuses to spin dry the clothes. She hangs wet unwrung clothes outside the windows which ever has sun dripping wet laundry. Where do these humans come from? How is it they have friends, relatives who have no idea of their behaviours? Where did they… Read more »

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