Friday, August 24, 2012

Neighbourly discussions key to avoiding conflicts: Home owners

Straits Times: Fri, Aug 24

OFFICIAL guidelines aside, basic neighbourliness will forestall ill will and even conflicts when potentially disruptive renovations are carried out in landed homes, said home owners yesterday.

Residents who spoke to The Straits Times said it was important to keep lines of communication open, and that informal discussions will see to it that the renovations go smoothly for all parties.

Take Serangoon Gardens resident Tony Pereira's experience, for example.

When the walls of his terraced house started leaking during his neighbour's reconstruction works on the other side of an adjoining wall, he did not kick up a fuss.

The 49-year-old executive creative director at an ad agency approached his neighbour and raised his concerns. "He was very accommodating, and immediately suggested that I raise the issue with his contractor. So whenever any problem came up throughout the construction period, we did exactly that, and the problem was rectified accordingly."

He and other home owners in private estates were reacting to the guidelines released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Building and Construction Authority on what to do when carrying out building works.

Businessman Tang King Khoi, 56, said: "You may not be obliged to consult your neighbour if you have already got the proper regulatory approvals, but it is still good to talk to them and be as considerate as possible."

He said when he tore down and rebuilt his semi-detached house at Jalan Belangkas in MacPherson in 2009, he did not receive complaints from his neighbours.

Good neighbourly behaviour should prevail whether guidelines are there or not, he said.

He added that the guidelines are good to have, because following them could lead to consistent consultation between neighbours and preserve goodwill.

Mr T.S. Lau, 65, is also a firm believer in informal discussions between neighbours - regardless of legalities - being the way to go.

The businessman said he got his neighbour's consent before replacing sections of mortar in the low wall separating his semi-detached house from his neighbour's home. "It is about both sides having a mutual understanding. If there are any problems, just speak up and work it out, and settle it informally."

Martin Koh | 86666 944 | R020968Z
Sherry Tang | 9844 4400 | R020241C
Senior Sales Director
DTZ Debenham Tie Leung (SEA) Pte Ltd (L3006301G)

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