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Renter seeks advice after experiencing strange restriction with several apartments: 'I can't really understand this rule'

"I'm 100% with you on this."

"I'm 100% with you on this."

Photo Credit: iStock

When it comes to doing laundry, no method is cheaper or more environmentally friendly than hanging clothes up to dry. But unfortunately, many landlords and HOAs have taken up a fight against clotheslines simply because of their appearance.

One frustrated tenant took to Reddit to ask for advice after touring several apartments, all of which banned airing laundry outside or on balconies. 

"[These apartments] all have coin operated laundry so maybe this contributes to it, but other than that I can't really understand this rule," they wrote. "I always [thought] hanging laundry outside is kind of cute? When we lived in Europe it was the norm."

Many commenters agreed. "I'm 100% with you on this. I find the no laundry rule ridiculous," one person wrote. "These buildings are living spaces for humans. Not storage compartments for robots. People have laundry. Laundry outside makes the place look lived in and happy."

Laundry lines have long been a subject of dispute between landlords and their tenants — and the idea of banning them has grown even more contentious as the energy costs associated with dryers have continued to rise.

Not only are washers and dryers expensive, but they're also worse for the environment. And in an age when 60% of renters are prioritizing energy efficiency and sustainable features in prospective homes, according to the Denver Post — and willing to pay more for them — owners miss the mark by failing to accommodate eco-friendly policies. 

"Landlords are so cringe," one person commented.

These burdensome policies have caused many states to adopt "right to dry" laws, which undercut these laundry line bans so that tenants can take advantage of the affordability of using clotheslines. But in many states, people can still be subjected to fines — to the tune of several thousand dollars — or even eviction for hanging their clothes to dry.

Some commenters offered advice. "I've been able to get around it by installing a decorative privacy screen … Even adding some planters on the rail with tallish flowers will give you the ability to get away with it if you hang stuff to dry a bit low," one wrote.

If you're facing a similar situation, check out TCD's step-by-step guide to pushing back against stubborn landlords or HOAs and advocating for greener policies that benefit you and the planet.

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