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Does Your Community Association (HOA) Prohibit Clotheslines?

Community Associations or Homeowners Associations for many years have prohibited outdoor drying of laundry.  The intent of the Associations and owners of multifamily properties was to maintain the aesthetics of the property for everyone's benefit.  The California legislature and governor have different plans for common interest communities and the HOmeowners Associations.

Under new Civil Code sections 1940.20 and 4750.10 effective January 1, 2016, any governing document of a common interest development that prohibits or unreasonably restricts an owner's ability to use a clothesline or drying rack in the owner's exclusive-use area is void and unenforceable.  

A reminder of these new code sections applicable to tenants and owners in common interest developments operated by community associations is particularly important this time of year.  It is common to have people drying swim wear and assessories outside and it is, also, common for them to receive notices of violation for drying clothing, towels and other such items outside.  

For those of you who live in a resident owned mobilehome park, these laws, in most cases, will apply to your Homeowners Association as well.

The homeowner or community associations can place reasonable restrictions to protect access routes, utility service equipment and other safety equipment.

The obvious goal of the legislature is promote conservation of energy and minimize costs for the tenants and owners by permitting alternatives to the use of gas or electric dryers.  

The question is:  what may the communities look like if a lot of tenants and owners start drying their laundry outside?  We will have to wait for the answer.

L. Sue Loftin is the Founder and Managing Shareholder of The Loftin Firm. For questions relating to this blog or any other California real estate, corporate governance, land use, or estate planning matter, contact Ms. Loftin at (760) 814-9649. 

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The Loftin Firm, P.C.
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Carlsbad, California 92008-4713

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