A reader writes: Every unit in our condominium association has a dryer vent. They all need to be cleaned from the outside, but half of them are on the second story. This is stupid. We have to get on a ladder, or pay someone to get on a ladder and go 10 feet in the air! Because it is difficult, I don’t think people are cleaning them. I keep suggesting that HOA maintenance responsibilities require the association to just do it for everyone once or twice a year but the board tells me they are not allowed to?
I do not have access to your governing documents which include the treatment of HOA maintenance responsibilities. Still, I am going to take it at face value that the reason the board is telling you this is that the governing documents are either silent on this aspect of HOA maintenance responsibilities or call them out as a homeowner’s responsibility. In either case, it would most likely mean the association does not have the authority to clean the vents, even if it makes sense. The solution is to hold an election to change that portion of the CC&Rs. It will take a majority of the homeowners voting in favor of the change in most cases to make that change.
You should also investigate other methods to clean the vent. It can normally be done from the inside (yes, you have to move the dryer but cleaning behind it periodically is a good idea also). That is certainly much safer than going outside and trying to do it from a ladder.
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