This topic contains 20 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by Jimmy-T 8 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #8199

    Hi Jimmy,

    I live in a predominately strata street of home units & duplexes.  Beside me is a strata duplex, the owners of which has taken up drying theirlaundry on he front balcony, which is level with mine.  This is most unsightly as she washes several times a week.  I have not seen any other balcony in the street with washing hung out to dry in the last 20 years!

    I have spoken to the neighbours and asked them to refrain from this, but without success. 

    My strata by-laws prevent me from drying washing on balconies in the building.  Is this a common strata by-law?  How can I find out whether the drying of clothes on the balcony is allowed under the by-laws in the neighbouring duplex?

    Yours desperately

    JT

    #15714
    Jimmy-T
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Even if you discovered there was a by-law about laundry, your neighboring EC is not compelled to enforce it. And since a duplex has only two owners, your chances of getting anyone to change their habits are slightly less than zero. I doubt your local council will take a position on this so there’s not really very much you can do.

    There may be a remote chance of taking legal action on the grounds that the ‘visual pollution’ of their washing is lowering the value of your property but I  wouldn’t recommend it.  In fact I suspect this is one of those cases where the misery associated with getting a result outweighs the slight benefit of whatever result you might get.

    In other words, if you can, learn to live with it

    #15719
    Sir Humphrey
    Sir Humphrey
    Strataguru

    I just don’t get the objection to laundry drying on a balcony. The cheapest and best value for money solar equipment is a clothesline. I am far more offended by one of my neighbours who never puts her washing on a line, on the balcony or anywhere else. She thinks we should all be using electric dryers! 

    #15720
    Jimmy-T
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    I tend to agree, Peter, but Flat Chat is a broad church and we try to accommodate all views. Interesting, when I was researching my answer I came across an attempt to ban electric dryers from one council area. And I believe some councils are insisting on communal drying lines on the roof (for instance) so at least there is an alternative.

    #15722
    Sir Humphrey
    Sir Humphrey
    Strataguru

    I understand that this topic does arouse passions! I think the trend is to tolerance and even encouragement of open air drying on environmental grounds. Reducing the use of electric clothes dryers is very low hanging fruit among the range of measures one can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or reduce your electricity bill. In the ACT a Rule (Bylaw) is now invalid if it prevents a sustainability measure. I think balcony drying could only be banned by an ACT OC’s Rules if the OC provided a good alternative such as roof-top drying or some other location that was sufficiently practical for residents, at least that is my interpretation.  I think QLD has something similar.

    #15723
    Avatar
    struggler
    Flatchatter

    I recently visited a friend who has just moved in to a new apartment. This is complex has a rule of no washing what so ever. No communal lines, no balcony drying, no courtyard/garden drying. No buts about it. Luckily my friend has enough space to dry inside as well as using the dryer.

    I have to say that this complex looked like a resort. It is strict on other rules too such as only one type/colour blinds to be seen from outside. Together with well kept grounds and nothing unsightly to be seen, it looked very neat and orderly. I don’t see how a little washing discreetly placed on a balcony or courtyard would affect the look of this complex. Though it’s when you allow people a little then they display commercial quantities of laundry that the look of a complex could be affected let alone the visual disturbance to neighbours.

    #15724
    Avatar
    Anonymous

    As Jimmy often mentions, the hip pocket is a sensitive area with owners of real estate.

    Is the sight of washing being dried on a balcony going to detract from the value of another unit looking in on it or even from the others in the block of units where the washing is being dried on the balcony?

    “Probably” is my answer.

    Electric clothes drying isn’t the answer with electricity costs soon rising by 18% or whatever it is. Community clothes lines or one or two indoor clothes horses of your own left in any spare space (such as the bath or shower recess when not being used) may be. Thats works for us.

    #15728
    Avatar
    struggler
    Flatchatter

    Our complex had turned a blind eye to residents occasionally having their laundry on view. However when one resident started to hang their laundry all day everyday in public view it started rumors that they had set up a commercial laundry such was the amount of washing. Then a notice came out notifying residents that they cannot have their laundry visible from common areas and to use their own clothes lines. A week after this notice the unit next to the laundromat went on the market. Prospective buyers would have had to stand at the front door of this property with the neighbours undies flapping in the breeze next to them if this notice didn’t come out. So did the sellers complain? Or was it finally one of the other owners whose visitors commented on the complexes resemblance to a third world country they had visited when the path leading to their front door became one temporary clothes line after another? Appearances count.

    #15732
    Avatar
    excathedra
    Flatchatter

    Current “10 years ago” flashbacks on Doonesbury (https://doonesbury.slate.com/strip/archive/flashback) are of interest.  (Sorry if this is a plug for the strip in a rival publication)

    #15751

    Hi All, in our complex we allow the use of a ‘clothes horse’ or air dryer for drying of laundry on balconies so long as they are not above the height of the balcony rail.

    Laundry is not to be hung over the balcony railings. This seems to work well and does not affect the appearance of the building.

    Cheers,

    CBF

    #15757

    A large hardware chain sells a gauze cover that fits over a portable air-drying stand. It doesn’t stop clothes drying but does render the look of the laundry much less offensive (to those who object). It’s around the $10 mark.

    How about you consider giving your neighbour one of these things? Hopefully they’ll take the hint and use it.

    #19389
    Avatar
    Kenuppa
    Flatchatter

    @considerate band fair said:
    Hi All, in our complex we allow the use of a ‘clothes horse’ or air dryer for drying of laundry on balconies so long as they are not above the height of the balcony rail.

    Laundry is not to be hung over the balcony railings. This seems to work well and does not affect the appearance of the building.

    Cheers,

    CBF

    That seems a sensible response.

    Most balconies have walls where a clothes horse could be located out of sight.

    We have a By Law (Qld) which prevents hanging washing visible from other units or common property without written approval from the Body Corporate. This has maintained the appearance of the units, but some recalcitrant owners or tennants  are ignoring the By Law.

    Is this By Law enforceable in Queensland, and if it is, who is supposed to enforce the By Law?  Resident Manager, Body Corporate Committee or Strata Manager?

     

    Thanks,

    Ken

     

    #19390
    Jimmy-T
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    In Queensland you can ask your committee – or strata manager if they have delegated powers – to issue a ‘continuing contravention order’.  Failure to abide by that can lead to fines being sought at a Magistrates Court.  Individual owners can’t issue these orders but if the Body Corporate committee fails to do so, they can apply to the  Body Corporate and Community Management Office tfor them to pursue action.  You’ll find more information HERE.

    #19392

    In fact in QLD the BC has a duty to enforce the bylaws it cannot just ignore the request because if it dosn’t take action the complainant can take action against the BC to force it to take action against breaches of bylaws.

    This is from a ruling from an Adjudicator ruling in QLD:

    In lieu I order that the body corporate take such positive and reasonable steps as it thinks appropriate to ensure that By-law 16 and By-law 22 of the scheme are known to, and complied with, by all owners and occupiers of the scheme.

    Must admit I’m not sure what would happen if the BC ignored the ruling.

    #19393
    Sir Humphrey
    Sir Humphrey
    Strataguru

    I thought QLD had ‘ban the banners’ legislation that renders invalid any bylaw to the extent that it prevents sustainability measures. As I understand it, requiring people to use dryers would not be valid. Requiring people to use a clothesline one way rather than another might be OK. As I mentioned somewhere below, a clothesline is the most cost effective bit of solar equipment you could ever get. 

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