Of all the communal areas in an apartment, the laundry room causes the most headache for both tenants and property managers. There's so many machines to take care of and tenant property to keep an eye on. When machines are limited and tenants levels are high, this area can become a full-on battlefield as tenants try to vie for a machine. We're here to provide some simple rules for the communal laundry area.
In newer apartment buildings, units have a washer and dryer hookup. The older ones have no such luxury. For many tenants, this room is the most frustrating part of living in a building community. It's here where respect is little, revenge is sweet, and clothing is no more.
Tenant Stories from the Front Lines of the Laundry Battlefield
Don't believe us when we say this room is a point of contention? Read some real tenants stories below, and see how bad it can get.
"Last time I lived in a building with common laundry, my wife's cloth started to disappear. A couple of months later one neighbour was wearing the exact same clothing that had gone missing, albeit, it was a bit small for her." ~XS4Me
"I set a timer when I was doing my laundry in the same scenario. Alarm goes off, I head down to switch my load. Lady is already using my machine and I find my laundry in the dryer. Which means she stopped the machine early. Maybe it was "good enough", but there was one machine that was empty next to mine..." ~Deluxe_Flame
"Used to rent where this girl did the same thing in the only 4 coin operated machines. Instead, I would just open the door of two of them and let her time run out with her clothes sitting in water or the dryers. After a couple weeks of conditioning her, she started only using 2 machines on the left because the two right machines as she put it "would stop running midcycle all the time"." ~GamingWithBilly
"Had a woman who would leave her laundry there for a week. Just left it in the dryer after she was done. Of course, we'd move it to the table. She'd go in, pick out the outfit she needed for the day, and leave the rest there." ~gdaman22
"When I lived in an apartment complex with communal laundry I would set my alarm for 2am and do my laundry then and just sit and guard it. So many weird people all day and night. I never let my laundry linger. The one time I did it during the day someone took all mine out and threw theirs in as soon as I left so they'd get their clothes washed on my quarters." ~lustywench99
So what can property managers do to bring peace to this ongoing battle between tenants?
Rules of Engagement for the Laundry Room
To keep tenants happy and things in order, it's best to have some rules in places for the communal laundry area. Here are some tips to make this chore better for everyone.
- Be generous with laundry room hours. Let residents choose when they want to do their own laundry. If that's in the middle of the night, so be it. When you aren't restrictive, there will be less of a rush for working machines. If you're worried about mischief, put a lock on the door with a code that only residents know.
- Get washing machines and dryers that lock. That will prevent someone from removing clothes that aren't theirs and washing with someone else's money.
- Provide Wi-fi in the laundry room to encourage tenants to stay with their belongings.
- Know how long the cycles are on your machines, and post a sign letting everyone else know, too. That way, they'll be able to set a timer and have an idea of when to pick up their laundry.
No one looks forward to doing laundry, especially if they have to fight off others for machines. To conquer this battlefield and bring peace to your tenants, set some rules for everyone to follow.