URGENT!! Designated utility space for drying laundry

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URGENT!! Designated utility space for drying laundry

Post  Eileen on Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:27 pm

I live on the Cumberland Estate NW1
Since the Crown Estate removed the gas fire in this property I have had to use the gas Central Heating system. This has added £60 to my annual fuel bill so far.
Just recently my monthly fuel payments have been increased by nearly £30 a month, making this a total annual fuel cost increase of £420.

(The management can annually increase the rent of this assured tenancy by 9% and will do in March. Compared to other forms of ‘affordable housing’ my tenancy is not good value and the management culture in recent years has proved to be morally bad).

I don't have enough room in the flat for a separate dryer and I have to dry most things in my hallway and bathroom. Internal drying produces condensation and mold which is bad for our health. Invisible fungal spores are linked with a host of internal & external disease, including asthma, eczema & ringworm; requiring more frequent change of bed linen and towels; which need a lot of drying; which creates condensation; which contributes towards mold, etc., etc. My children's and my own health is affected significantly by the vicious circle created by ill-considered lack of provision of utility space.

I could save a lot of money by drying bed linen and towels, quite unobtrusively -outside my flat. It is on a ground floor corner of a courtyard, which doesn't get much traffic or attention by even cleaners. The balcony overhead creates a natural shelter so it practicable in all seasons.

The Crown Estate, as self-acclaimed "Environmental Stewards", will not support my request, either on health grounds, or in harmony with their core values.
They frequently publish, globally "…A commitment to the environment, encouraging mitigation of climate change etc.," such statements appear in the Community and Social Responsibility reports as an organisation that is nationally accountable to all taxpayers in their management of public land.

My local Residents Association, which essentially comprises of a handful of tenants who speak autocratically for the 550 tenants on this estate, are not supportive either.
(I am very disappointed that they were also very unsupportive and unhelpful re. complaints I raised about my previous block manager. I am glad evidence later emerged from neighbours that she was guilty of £67,000 fraud).
I found joining the committee a waste of time as it is a political patsy courting reciprocal minority favour with the establishment. The rest of the committee and members are passengers.

My request for sustainable drying facilities is not a shared by any members of the committee and therefore not a case or issue they will support.

If the other tenants, or local management feel that a sensible, neat and sustainable way of re-thinking positive health/environmental solutions would be obstructive, hazardous, or incite mass “washing line insurgence” over the whole estate – I’m sure measures could be taken to contain it -- As in the way tenancy contracts now have an addendum to include a compulsory clause about laying carpets, (since the trend for laminate flooring is disturbs peace for neighbours).
In addition, not all estate properties are standard and not everyone is as environmentally conscientious to give up the convenience of machine drying.

The Cumberland Estate was originally designed to accommodate laundry/drying facilitates when it was built – This changed in the 70’s when flats were converted to increase profits – Flats became smaller, drying rooms were rented as storage space etc. Residents of a certain generation happily afforded dryers and electricity then – perhaps they have generous pensions now, they seem unaware and unaffected by ecological issues and are generally not progressive in their outlook.
I think the Crown Estate could try harder to genuinely act as Ecological “Stewards” and radically re-think the issue - if not communally, then just in answer to my individual needs. While they are completing works to raise decent homes standards it would be convenient.

Presently, the policy regarding hanging washing outside is not actually written in my tenancy agreement, I could construct something independently - however I have first hand experience of the aggressive way the Crown Estate rely on their exclusive legal department.

Perhaps this environmental and health issue does not affect any residents or local association committee members on the Victoria Park Estate – Perhaps the tenants have gardens? Balconies? Please tell me.

This is an environmental and economic issue that affects everyone, not just the health and well being of my family. The Crown Estate is a publicly accountable organisation. It does not own the estates - It is entrusted to act as a managing agency and therefore it is in control of, and responsible for, environmental good sense on a national level. It would be very possible and practical for me to dry laundry outside. The Crown Estate could, (should), provide and construct facilities for this sustainable practice. The management could consider this issue in re. of all the urban estates and consult properly. Other organisations do invest and act on their stated ideals to radically re-think everything with urgency.

I would like to know other tenants views, and I would like to know if anyone would please support my case.

Thank you


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