L.L. from New Haven County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Can the Homeowner’s Association impose a penalty fee for unit owners that do not get their dryer vent cleaned (as it could become a safety hazard and affect other units)? There is nothing in the bylaws or rules and regulations outlining the dryer vent cleaning requirement. Thank you!
Mister Condo replies:
L.L., as you mentioned, dryer vents are frequent safety and fire hazards at condo associations. Many condominium and homeowner’s associations do have rules and requirements about the frequency and the mandatory nature of proper dryer vent cleaning and maintenance. If your bylaws and rules are silent on the subject matter, then your Board may only be able to strongly suggest that owners practice safe dryer vent maintenance. However, if they have notified owners and placed rules in effect since the last published update of your by-laws, violators could be on the receiving end of a notice or fine if not corrected. The bottom line is that dryer vent maintenance can be life-saving by preventing fires. However, education is a far better remedy than imposition of fines to get unit owners to comply. If you feel you have been fined improperly, ask to speak to the Board about having the fine removed or reversed. In the meantime, if you haven’t already done so, get your dryer vent cleaned. Be safe and good luck!