Who’s responsible for my ceiling?


You have a problem with your estate. Town Council says it’s not their business, blames HDB. HDB says it is also not their problem and cites joint responsibility of the tenants.

Mr. Seah has faced the problem of a leaking ceiling for over 7 years, allegedly caused by his upstairs neighbour’s renovation. The persistent drips have destroyed his furniture and resulted in considerable damage to his property.


(The bag is there to prevent the drips from destroying his sink. The leaks come from the ceiling, not the pipes)

When he appealed to the town council, Seah was informed they couldn’t do anything about the interior of the house, offering to waterproof the exterior of the apartment instead. Obviously that didn’t help so the HDB was called in to have a look. On further investigation, it was discovered that the leaks could be attributed to the renovation upstairs and the neighbour was asked to fix it at his own cost.

Fix he did, but what the neighbour did was a DIY job and the leaking persists.

Seah is willing to pay for the damages in his own apartment, but he feels he shouldn’t be shouldering all the costs as the damages have been attributed to his neighbour above.

This magazine understands that in a normal situation, the HDB would do an investigation to find out who was the contractor in charge and pursue the contractor for repairs. In this situation where there was no contractor, it is understood that there is a program where the HDB would foot 50% of the costs and both neighbours split the other half each way.

Unfortunately, Mr. Seah’s neighbour refuses to budge, refuses to pay a single cent for repairs. For years, both the town council and the HDB were unable to assist in dispute management.

Does this mean that any resident is able to shirk responsibility merely by refusing to pay for repairs?

This magazine believes that the practice of “covering your own backside” and responsibility shifting should stop. We are all responsible for a peaceful environment and where authority can help in dispute management, it should help.

  1. Sorry, but how do you spell ”responsibility”? And what does the word mean plse? More pertinently, does responsibility actually exist? Isn’t it just an aspiration? A figment of some people’s imagination? Maybe, it was arrested and imprisoned? Or simply snuck off the island?

    If the last, I suspect it left way before Mat Selamat tried to. It was certainly not evident when he made his escape.
    On the other hand, it was probably left out of the contract that town councils had with their managing agent. Most certainly, it is not missing from the TCs’ employees…

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