Parliament passed the Community Disputes Resolution Bill on 13 March 2015, after the Bill’s Second Reading by Minister Lawrence Wong. The Bill introduces a new statutory tort and provides for the establishment of Community Disputes Resolution Tribunals (CDRTs) to hear cases involving intractable disputes between neighbours, after all efforts including community mediation have been exhausted. The CDRTs are specialised courts which will only hear claims between neighbours over issues related to the enjoyment or use of places of residences. The claims must relate to conduct occurring on or after 1 October 2015.
Disputes between neighbours can be effectively resolved with a little thoughtfulness and patience. Communicate with our neighbours politely, listen to them and be willing to compromise to maintain a harmonious living environment.
How should I approach my neighbour about his/her annoying behaviour?
Before the conversation
During the conversation
Ending the conversation
How can mediation help me?
During mediation, a trained neutral third party will facilitate a conversation between you and your neighbour to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. The mediator will not provide the solutions or make a decision for the parties. The mediator controls facilitates the process so that parties can discuss the issues and arrive at their own solutions in a calm and objective manner.
Formal mediation services are available at the Community Mediation Centre, which has a panel of trained volunteer mediators. You can register your case online or call the hotline at 1800-CALL-LAW (1800-2255-529). More than 70% of cases mediated at CMC reach a settlement.
You are strongly encouraged to have attempted mediation before filing your case. Mediation is important because solutions which have been reached by mutual agreement have a higher chance of being sustained.
The CDRTs are meant to handle unreasonable interferences with the enjoyment or use of places of residence. The CDRTs are a measure of last resort for residents because other means of resolution (e.g. approaching your neighbour, informal mediation) may better preserve neighbour relations.
The CDRTs are housed at the State Courts located at 1 Havelock Square, Singapore 059724. You can find out more on how to file a claim at the CDRT and download the forms online at the State Courts website.
You can contact your grassroots leaders (GRLs) for help. You may get in touch with your GRLs through your nearest Community Club (CC).
Locate your nearest CC and contact information.