It’s not rocket science, but it’s worth repeating nonetheless: drying your clothes out on a clotheshorse on your balcony is better for the environment than using a dryer. Taking advantage of the warm, sunny weather that Sydney often enjoys seems like it should be every strata resident’s right – right?
The surprising truth is that, traditionally, drying your clothes on the balcony has been a bit of a no-go in most strata schemes. In the past, by-laws prohibited this form of air drying, as it was considered unacceptable and unsightly to have your clothes on display for neighbours to see, especially underwear. Luckily, newer regulation has changed this situation as the government has caught on to the environmental and financial benefits of sun drying over using a dryer.
New model by-laws permit sun drying
In 2016, the NSW government released a new Strata Schemes Management Regulation which included a new model by-law that explicitly permits the sun drying of clothes, stating that “an owner or occupier of a lot may hang washing on any part of the lot other than over the balcony railings.” If your strata adopted this model by-law, you’re in the clear for sun drying provided you hang your clothes for a reasonable period of time.
What if your strata still prohibits hanging washing?
However, not every strata scheme adopted this model by-law, and you might be one of the unlucky ones who is still not allowed to hang their washing on their balcony.
If this is the case, you still have some options to stay environmentally friendly and avoid having to use a dryer:
Hang your clothes inside
This might sound obvious, but you can always get a clothes horse and hang your wet clothes there. While this is not ideal, you can open your windows while doing this to avoid any moisture build up in your unit and still profit from the warm weather outside.
Request a communal drying space
If you’re not permitted to hang clothes in public in your own space, maybe you can start a motion to install a communal drying space somewhere on common property. Chances are you’re not the only one in your strata scheme who wants to enjoy the financial and environmental benefits of not using dryers, so if you can drum up enough support, maybe you’ll soon be able to hang your clothes on the communal clothes line in your courtyard.
Looking for specific model by-laws and regulations? Our super handy document bank is at your service.