Singapore: Over the past two years, one Housing Board block in Punggol has seen heavy market activity. Six households on the same floor moved out – all because of one woman.
Dubbed the “neighbour from hell”, she is accused of splashing oil at doors, playing loud music and stomping on the floor.
One neighbour even claimed she had left a bloody pig’s ear on a shoe rack.
Multiple police reports were made. Feeling helpless when told by the authorities that what she did was not an arrestable offence, six families to date have sold their flats, with the latest one moving out last November.
New families who moved in said they have also made reports to the authorities.
The second resident in the Punggol Central HDB block to move out due to the neighbour did so with her husband and two-year-old daughter in February last year, five years after moving into the Build-To-Order block, which has a mix of two-, three-and four-room flats.
She told The Sunday Times that it was “so stressful” that she even appealed to HDB to let her sell her flat before completing the five-year minimum occupation period. Her appeal was rejected.
“I simply couldn’t take it anymore. I would go home after work to find some kind of liquid splashed on my door. One day it was used cooking oil, another day it was porridge. The worst was when I saw a pig’s ear on my shoe rack,” she said.
“It was my first flat and I felt very suay (unlucky). I sold my flat to another family. I felt sorry for them but everyone wants to escape.”
The neighbour in question is a 51-year-old housewife.
In 2013, the divorcee and her son, who is waiting to enter university, moved into their two-room flat.
Interviews with her former and current neighbours indicate that the trouble began the year after.
One neighbour showed a folder of at least 17 police reports filed, as well as complaints to HDB.
A police spokesman said: “As the reports were for non-arrestable offences such as intentional harassment, noise pollution and mischief, the housewife’s neighbours were advised to lodge a magistrate’s complaint. All involved parties were also advised to keep the peace.”
A magistrate’s complaint is filed when one wishes to start a private prosecution against someone he believes has committed a criminal offence against him. The neighbour who filed the complaint, after an earlier attempt at mediation failed, lives in the flat above the woman.
He claims she intimidated him with “a large stone” when she confronted him about noise from his flat last month.
The accusations were disputed by the housewife who said he had provoked her by dropping metal balls on his floor which she could hear.
“So, I took a pebble and went up to bounce it outside his unit’s corridor as I was angry. It disturbed my sleep and it was not the first time. I also called the police,” she said.
Speaking from her home for three hours on Thursday, the housewife was calm and articulate as she addressed her neighbours’ accusations.
“If ex-owners said they sold their flats because of me, I tell you, I am not that great. I, one person, cannot do all this. I have footage of their nuisance acts and they are no bunch of sweet peas,” she said and accused her neighbours of ganging up against her.
One ex-neighbour who wanted to be known only as Lee, said the neighbours had held a few meetings as they experienced the same issues with the housewife.
The disputes started with the previous owner of the unit facing hers, recalled the housewife.
She said the couple threw cigarette ashes into the gap between her wooden door and grille gate. So she installed three closed-circuit television cameras outside her flat.
In the past five years, the woman added, she has filed multiple complaints with different agencies, including the National Environment Agency, about her neighbours.
When told that her neighbours had complained of loud music and banging doors coming from her flat, the housewife said she has to sleep with her radio on each day “to drown out the noise” from upstairs.
“My conscience is clear.”
Last year, the couple opposite the housewife sold their home to a 34-year-old single mother.
On her first day home, she found police at her door.
The administrative assistant who declined to be named said: “She had called the police to complain that my cousin was making noise and smoking at the corridor.
“A month later, she poured cooking oil outside my flat on three occasions.” — The Straits Times/Asia News Network