Can we alter the 'no-laundry by-law' | Dirty Linen | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered




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Can we alter the 'no-laundry by-law'
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16/12/2017 - 10:51 am
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I live in a block of 18 units and would like to hang washing on a balcony unobservable from other units in the block but neighbours across the street (who also hang their washing out) can see it.
 
With energy prices on the up and up why should we have to use driers?
 
Is there a way to change a by-law that prevents hanging washing on balconies?

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JimmyT
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16/12/2017 - 10:56 am
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Assuming that there is a by-law in place that prevents you from drying your washing on your balcony, then yes, of course you can change it. And if there is no by-law, then you have nothing to worry about – it’s not against the law.

The question then becomes, how do you change it and that is done by proposing it at your next AGM. You will need 75 percent of the unit entitlements of those voting in person or by proxy to do so, so you’d be advised to canvas opinions before you do this.

You might also suggest a compromise including that it only happens on weekdays (so as not to offend potential burs or renters) and that otherwise laundry must not be visible from the street or from other units in your block.

But as I say, get the opinions of your neighbours than see where that leads. 

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scotlandx
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16/12/2017 - 10:57 am
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Yes of course you can, provided the other owners agree (special resolution). The neighbours are irrelevant unless you’re part of a larger scheme.

I am very anti clothes dryers!

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Happy Strata
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18/12/2017 - 12:17 pm
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We have a similar situation in our complex, where there is a by-law in place that does not allow laundry to be hung where it is visible from outside the complex. As the balconies are surrounded by glass, it is very obvious when someone has laundry on the their balcony.

A number of residents have complained that this is not being current enforced and looks unsightly from the street (the complainers all happen to be in units that are either high enough up or facing in a particular direction so they can hang their washing out without being seen). 

We are looking to put an extra by-law in place to allow residents to frost their balcony glass with enough opacity that any washing on the balcony will not be clearly visible. This will give residents the option of hanging laundry out IF they are either high enough up, or do the frosting. 

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Lady Penelope
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18/12/2017 - 2:26 pm
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I would have thought that if an OC wanted to apply a strict no laundry on balcony policy that the OC should have a responsibility to provide common property drying lines.

If not then it is unreasonable to impose additional costs on some owners (those with visible balconies) and those with less visible balconies.

Costs for an owner with a visible balcony are: Dryer – with Condenser Clothes Dryers starting at approximately $600 with replacement possibly every 5 years. PLUS Electricity @ $2.27 per cycle.

Costs for an owner with a less visible balcony are: Portable clothes dryer costing less than $50 with the electricity costs for drying being zero.

If the owners with visible balconies are required to pay to frost their own glass balustrades then this will also unreasonably burden some owners and not others.

Why not permit portable clothes lines with conditions that they be obscured wherever possible by barriers such as real or faux potted plants, or balcony furniture? There are faux box hedges, such as the one pictured below, that could act as screening material on a glass balcony.

Boxwood hedge in Planterbox

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Sir Humphrey
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21/12/2017 - 10:49 pm
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Bylaws that prohibit clothes drying in the free, zero-emissions sun and wind are antiquated and reflect ridiculous and indefensible snobbery in my opinion. I would normally advise compliance with bylaws/rules/articles and following proper process to change such rules as appropriate, but with this, the short-term solution is civil disobedience. 

In my view an OC could only defend such a rule if it provides practical convenient alternative facilities for air drying of clothes. 

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VicRes
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02/01/2018 - 3:12 pm
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Maybe if there is a no visible laundry rule a complementary clothing optional rule could be introduced? This would lessen the requirement for laundry to be be dried. Wink

 

Of course residents would have to decide what they wanted to see less of, the laundry drying or the residents.

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