Drying your clothes on a clothes rack or washing line is the more sustainable option over using an electric
dryer, but for many strata residents there have been restrictions on where and how they can hang their
laundry on their balconies. Some deem it unsightly to see delicates drying in the breeze where they can see
them, which is why the NSW strata regulation used to have rules against hanging washing where it might be
seen by other residents or the public.
However, largely due to the increased awareness of energy and cost savings, the NSW legislation now
encourages owners corporations to be a little more relaxed about the matter. In the Strata Schemes
Management Regulation 2016, there is a model-by- law available stating:
14 Hanging out of washing
(1) An owner or occupier of a lot may hang any washing on any lines provided by the owners corporation
for that purpose. The washing may only be hung for a reasonable period.
(2) An owner or occupier of a lot may hang washing on any part of the lot other than over the balcony
railings. The washing may only be hung for a reasonable period.
If this model by-law is adopted by your strata scheme, good news – you can hang your washing out on a
sunny day and dry your clothes, towels, bedding or other articles of a similar type.
If your strata scheme is stricter about visible washing, you have a few options. Of course, one is using an
electric clothes dryer within your apartment. Another is setting up a clothes horse or drying rack inside your
apartment, although you may want to keep windows or doors open to minimise the risk of mould developing
in the unit. One third option is to use, or request, a communal drying area where you can hang washing up
outside. If your strata property does not have one available you may wish to add a motion onto the agenda of
your next General Meeting and take a collective vote about the matter. It often won’t cost much to install a
few clotheslines in an under-used space on the property, and this offers the chance to wash and dry heavier
items or those that won’t fare well in the dryer. Some consideration and common sense from each resident
can ensure laundry day doesn’t become a pain in the neck.
For information regarding balcony use and laundry on your property, check your strata scheme's by-laws or
get in touch with your strata manager at Real Property Services.