The Community Disputes Resolution Act (CDRA) creates a new statutory tort of interfering with the enjoyment or use of places of residence. The underlying principle is that no person should cause unreasonable interference with his neighbour's enjoyment or use of that neighbour's place of residence.
The CDRA also establishes the Community Disputes Resolution Tribunal (CDRT) as part of the State Courts to hear cases under the CDRA.
As criminal provisions do
not have retrospective application, the CDRA only applies to acts committed
on or after the date it comes into force (1 October 2015).
1. Who is my neighbour?
Your neighbour is a person who:
Your neighbour does
not include a person who lives in the same place of residence as you.
2. What are some examples of interference by my neighbour?
Causing excessive noise, smell, smoke, light or vibration;
Littering at or in the vicinity of your place of residence;
Obstructing your place of residence;
Interfering with your movable property;
Conducting surveillance on you or your place of residence, where the surveillance is done at or in the vicinity of your place of residence;
Trespassing on your place of residence;
Allowing his animal to trespass on your place of residence, to cause excessive noise or smell, or to defecate or urinate at or in the vicinity of your place of residence.
3. What kind of evidence can I bring before the CDRT?
You may provide the following as evidence:
Contemporaneous record stating the date, time, frequency, type and severity of interference;
Letters or notes that have been exchanged between your neighbour and you;
Letters inviting your neighbour or you to attend mediation on previous occasions;
Previous mediation settlement agreements;
Letters from other government agencies such as the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), Housing & Development Board (HDB), Land Transport Authority (LTA), National Environmental Agency (NEA), National Parks Board (NParks), PUB, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Singapore Police Force (SPF), Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) etc.;
Medical reports; or
Police reports etc.
(1) All non-English documents must be translated into English by a certified court interpreter or a translation verified by the affidavit of a person qualified to translate it before it may be received, filed or used in the CDRT.
(2) All relevant audio or video recordings must be in CD-R or DVD-R (non-rewritable).
(3) The relevant parts of all audio or video recordings tendered into evidence must be accompanied by a transcript, i.e. be reduced into writing.
4. What court orders can I apply for? What court orders can the CDRT make?
Damages||:||An order for your neighbour to pay you a sum of money (not more than $20,000)|
An order for your neighbour to stop doing something
An order for your neighbour to do something
An order for your neighbour to apologise to you
Any other order to give effect to the above court orders
5. What will the CDRT consider in deciding whether to make a court order and what court order to make?
The CDRT will consider:
Whether the claim has been made out against your neighbour on a balance of probabilities; and
Whether it is just and equitable for the court order to be made.
In deciding whether it is just and equitable for the court order to be made, the CDRT will consider:
The impact of the order on your neighbour;
The impact of the order on any person who resides in your neighbour's place of residence at the time the order is made;
The impact of the order on any other person who can reasonably be expected to be affected by the order;
The ordinary instances of daily living that can be expected to be tolerated by reasonable persons living in Singapore; and
Any other matters as the court deems fit.
6. What can I do if my neighbour refuses to comply with the court order?
What happens when my neighbour refuses to comply with:|
What action can I take under CDRA?
Apply for a
Special Direction for your neighbour to comply with the court order
Lodge a Police Report to facilitate police investigations into the breach of the Special Direction under Section 7(1) of the CDRA; or
Magistrate's Complaint against your neighbour to privately prosecute him for breach of the Special Direction under Section 7(1) of the CDRA; or
contempt of court proceedings against your neighbour; or
Apply for an
Exclusion Order against your neighbour
Lodge a Police Report to facilitate police investigations into the breach of the Exclusion Order under Section 10(1) of the CDRA; or
Magistrate's Complaint against your neighbour to privately prosecute him for breach of the Exclusion Order under Section 10(1) of the CDRA; or
contempt of court proceedings against your neighbour
7. What can I do if I know my neighbour’s address but do not know my neighbour’s name?
You can conduct an
ownership search based on your neighbour’s address at the following websites:
Please note that these websites provide the name of the legal owner and not the name of the tenant(s) that the legal owner may have leased the property to.
8. I am a bankrupt. Am I able to bring a Claim against my neighbour in the CDRT?
Yes, provided that you have obtained the previous sanction of the Official Assignee under section 131(1)(a) of the Bankruptcy Act.
Bankruptcy Act (Cap. 20)
Disabilities of bankrupt
131.—(1) Where a bankrupt has not obtained his discharge —
(a) he shall be incompetent to maintain any action, other than an action for damages in respect of an injury to his person, without the previous sanction of the Official Assignee; and
(b) he shall not leave, remain or reside outside Singapore without the previous permission of the Official Assignee.
(2) A bankrupt who fails to comply with this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both.