A.J. from Middlesex County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
The tenants here got together and bought a washer and dryer. However, it is not a commonly owned item and is not in the bylaws. They told me I had to pay $160.00 to 2 tenants, to use it. The unit owners pay for all the water and electricity. I have on video one of the tenants that use the washer every day doing laundry for strangers and getting paid money. Myself and another unit owner said to put in a coin machine, and keep track of the water, as we should not be paying $400.00 a month for water that is built into our HOA fee, that does not even include the electricity. What is wrong with this State?
Mister Condo replies:
A.J., I know this is a very upsetting issue for you. Check out this article on Page 20 f the latest issue of Common Interest magazine, published by the Connecticut Chapter of CAI – https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.caict.org/resource/collection/0B4B26E7-8705-4FAD-A2E4-2F29AF2971E8/2022_Common_Interest_Issue_3.pdf It’s all about the challenges of adding washing machines into common interest associations. Your association is not alone in this challenge. However, their solution is a bit perplexing. Allowing owners to run a commercial laundry operation out of the condo while using commonly supplied water is not a good idea. However, enforcing how the washing machine is sued and who will pay for its use is going to challenge the Board. All I can tell you is that it is an unfortunate situation and should likely be stopped. That would require you, and all other residents to seek another solution to your laundry woes, most likely by taking your laundry to a local laundromat. That may not be convenient but since there were no laundry facilities provided as part of the original condo association, it is not an unusual solution at all. Good luck!
1 thought on “Condo Laundry Blues”
It is amazing tenants have gotten that much gumption, perhaps a board member is an investor owner of several units, that the current board is pretending this is OK. The defacto laundromat should be removed (hopefully they did not get board permission to install them in the common area). The association can look into having commercial machines installed, and ensure there is capability by having a proper set up by an electrician before doing so. Having to pay for use of the machines will be disincentive to have residents making money this way. Also, you should make sure the existing machines are properly installed, and they should be plugged directly into outlets designed to handle the capacity, and not plugged into extension cords. Appliances plugged into extension cords is a fire code violation and dangerous, don’t let it go if the tenants hooked them up this way, if so, take a picture and inform your local fire marshal. There should be a schedule to professionally clean dryer vents also, another fire hazard.