Written Answer by Ministry of National Development on number of complaints received in relation to noise from neighbours in HDB estates since the start of 2020

Jan 5, 2021

Mr Vikram Nair: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) since the start of 2020, how many complaints have been received in relation to noise from neighbours in HDB estates; and (b) whether HDB will consider expressly setting out acceptable levels of household noise, educating the public on these levels and taking enforcement measures.


From January to September 2020, HDB has received about 11,400 cases of feedback relating to noise from residents’ daily activities, up from about 3,600 cases for the same time period in 2019.  

From January to March 2020, there were about 500 cases of such feedback per month. This increased to about 1,800 cases of feedback per month from April to July 2020, especially during the Circuit Breaker period when most of us had to stay at home. From August 2020, the number of such feedback dropped to 1,300 per month, likely due to the return of students to school and more workers to workplaces.

In a high-density living environment, some amount of noise is inevitable. It is important that residents do their part by showing consideration for their neighbours, such as by keeping the noise level down, especially late at night, in order to ensure a pleasant living environment for all.

In most instances, residents cooperate when alerted to feedback about noise, and will take measures to minimise the inconvenience to their neighbours. Under the Community Dispute Management Framework, disputing parties can also seek mediation at the Community Mediation Centre, or in more intractable cases, refer the matter to the Community Disputes Resolution Tribunal. We should not resort to excessive enforcement, as doing so is not only intrusive, but also destroys the social fabric of HDB living.

HDB actively engages residents on topics such as mutual tolerance amongst neighbours, as well as gracious and responsible heartland living through exhibitions, and outreach at schools and through the Friends of Our Heartlands volunteer network. HDB also works with other organisations to promote good neighbourly behaviour. Most recently, HDB collaborated with the Singapore Kindness Movement on a public messaging series, called the ‘Then How’ series, to encourage mutual tolerance and neighbourliness. Ultimately, good communication and neighbourliness amongst residents are key to minimising household noise issues.