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Woman seeks justice after upstairs neighbour repeatedly dumps dirty laundry water into her home

The court heard that Lee Soh Geok, who lives directly above Helen Lim Hai Loon's first-floor unit, had a habit of deliberately splashing water onto the roof extension of Lim's home from her second-floor unit

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Fed up with her neighbour’s refusal to stop dumping dirty laundry water into her home, a Tampines resident has resorted to seeking justice through the courts after making 12 police reports against her neighbour over an 18 month period between January 2019 and June 2020.

Helen Lim Hai Loon also claimed that her neighbour, Lee Soh Geok, caused unreasonable noise by deliberately bouncing a ball in her apartment and is suing her for abusive behaviour likely to cause harassment and distress.

The court heard that Lee, who lives directly above Lim’s first-floor unit with her mother, had a habit of deliberately splashing water onto the roof extension of Lim’s home from her second-floor unit. The water, which appeared to be rain or waste water, would splash and roll off the shelter onto Lim’s pathway, metal gate, patio floor and would even get into her blinds.

Lim – an accounts executive who lives with her family and domestic helper – produced 70 audio and video clips of the splashing acts in court. The court saw a woman in the clip using buckets, pails and scoops to splash the water down the balcony onto Lim’s unit.

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Lim told the court that the splashing act often occurs several times a day. Exasperated, she took to recording each incident in a notebook that she also produced in court.

The plaintiff testified that she was distressed by her neighbour’s behaviour especially after she noted that the water that splashed into her home was sometimes soapy and smelled like Clorox bleach. She had to wash her floors to prevent her children from slipping or sustaining damage to their tender skin.

The court heard that Lim’s children were in the patio in one incident when Lee began splashing water downstairs. The children heard the splash and shouted for Lee to stop but she allegedly splashed another bucket of water down instead. She also lifted her phone, which Lim claims made her children fear that they would be filmed.

The court also saw a clip that was filmed on 4 Feb 2019, showing Lim’s family having reunion dinner when water splashed from the upstairs unit causing diners to stand up from their meal.

The family were also disturbed by unusually loud sounds of a bouncing ball that came from Lee’s unit, during the circuit breaker period last year. She showed the court 10 audio clips of these incidents and said that Lee was deliberately bouncing a basketball from her balcony.

She told the court: “Honestly, my whole house was vibrating. I can tell it’s coming from the top. My whole house can hear the ‘pong, pong, pong’.”

When the loud bouncing sound lasted for about 45 minutes on one occasion, Lim said she had to get her children to wear earphones while they ate dinner because the noise was so grating. Lim added that her other neighbours even asked her whether she was affected by the bouncing sounds.

Lim’s family first sought the condominium security’s help to get Lee to stop bouncing the ball but Lee remained defiant. Lim testified: “Because it started during the COVID-19 period, when all (were in) lockdown, so my children were all having home learning and we tried to get security to go up to talk to her, but she just (told) us that she can do whatever she wants at her house.

“And she also complained about a neighbour’s dog barking and said that if we cannot get the dog to stop barking, we cannot get her to stop bouncing. That’s why we gave up talking to her. Her bouncing (was) causing a lot of distress to us.”

Lim called the police a dozen times to report Lee’s behaviour but was told that the police would not prosecute Lee. Lim decided to take Lee to court after mediation between the parties failed. Lee, who is unrepresented in court, could be fined up to S$5,000 for each charge of using abusive behaviour if she is found guilty.

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