K.F. from Ottawa County, Ohio writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Our buildings have 5-6 units each. In each building there is a community laundry room. Each load of laundry to wash and also to dry is $1.25. Just received word from the Board that they will be turning off the hot water tank in the laundry room from January until May, as a cost-saving measure. Since I am the only full-time person in the building (mostly summer folks here), there is no real monthly income to speak of from the machines. They are only turning it off in a few buildings where only one person lives year-round, like mine. Suggested we can go to one of the other buildings to do laundry if need hot water. I sometimes use hot water for a load of clothes. I’m all for saving money, but I bought this unit that included the laundry room! I am 71 years old. I didn’t sign up for walking to another building with my laundry in the winter, or any time for that matter! Is it legal for them to do this? I’ve looked through our By-Laws and Rules & Regulations and didn’t find anything that would deal with this. The tank is in the middle of the building – not on an outside wall where it would be in a room that is colder and would possibly use more electricity to heat. I appreciate your response.
Mister Condo replies:
K.F., I am sorry that your Board has taken this approach to saving money but I don’t think there is too much you can do about it. The Laundry Room and your ability to do laundry in your own building is very likely not mentioned anywhere in your governing documents, meaning you likely have no recourse to claim you are being denied a right that came with unit ownership. Additionally, the Board is charged with making decisions that save the association money as part of their fiscal stewardship of the association. To make you happy, they would have to disregard the interests of the other owners who are not there year-round and have no reason to pay for hot water they won’t be using. You can ask the Board to reconsider their decision. You might even offer to pay for the hot water bill for the off-season if it means that much to you. Otherwise, I am afraid you will need to seek another solution for your winter time laundry needs. All the best!