Tumble Dryers vs Underpants on Display

A certain autumn calm has descended on my rooms and perhaps my tenants are preparing to hibernate for the long winter ahead – freezer drawers stuffed with Iceland ready meals, people home more than usual as work dries up, less drunken incidents (I can’t put this down to any mitigating factor and am perplexed), boilers serviced and turned on and the usual array of pants and bras draped over the communal radiators.

In the new HMOs which I’ve been writing about on Property 118s website, the landlord has installed tumble dryers.  I’ve watched this one with interest as, having five tenants’ clothes drying around the house or on airers in their room creates humidity which in turn adds to condensation problems in their rooms, especially if they don’t open the windows and their room door is closed 99% of the time.

The tumble dryers are in the kitchen attached to a coin operated box which can be set to 15 mins, 32 mins or 64 mins and can take 50p or £1.  The boxes themselves and the installation wasn’t cheap at £250. We took the decision to charge 50p per 64 minutes which is cheaper than the launderette and means the tenants can’t invite their mates over for a free of charge clothes drying party.  The tenants seem to like the idea, are happy to part with 50p for speedily dry clothes which you don’t have to iron if you get them out of the drum quick enough and I’m just wondering whether to install them in my houses, if only to save myself the spectacle of greying Y fronts as I go up the stairs desperately trying not to imagine who they belong to……………..

UPDATE

To everyone who has sent their wishes to Nadine and Andrew:

Nadine:  Has now lost most of her hair and has two more chemo treatments to go.  It’s taken a toll on her and we end up in hysterics driving to the hospital as she has to dope herself up on various pills to keep her calm and is so high and relaxed she talks nonsense. By the time I collect her in the afternoon, she’s had a good sleep while the drip is in her arm, has had a chat with other patients and the sleepy hangover is starting to kick in.  She starts radiotherapy 30 miles away in the New Year and her oncologist has told her she doesn’t qualify for patient transport but the NHS will refund her bus pass.  “But I can’t even walk to the bus stop” she said, “Your treatment has cost us £15,000 so far, we have to make cost cuts somewhere” said the oncologist.  Perhaps he was in the student union when his grant funded medical course was covering “How to Develop A Caring Bedside Manner”.

Andrew:  Unfortunately Andrew got the sack for shouting at a waitress in the middle of a restaurant.  Apparently he “got stressed and she was disrespectin’ me”.  He really didn’t want to lose that job and it did seem unfair as I’m sure he’s not the first chef to have ever shouted at waiting staff.  So, we went back to square one and, after he’d paid his debts and given me £100 towards his rent arrears of two months, he’s applied for Housing Benefit and is looking at the job vacancies again.  Before he got paid, he had 36p to his name and his son staying for the weekend so I loaded up spaghetti hoops, Kelloggs Frosties, pasta, cheese and bread and a couple of pounds worth of Tesco vouchers for him.  Two week’s later I get a hug, a card and a bottle of Pinot Grigio – my children are still looking for those Frosties………

3 Comments

Filed under Management of an HMO

3 responses to “Tumble Dryers vs Underpants on Display

  1. Owen

    Approximately how long does a drying cycle take ? The reason I ask is that 50p may be too cheap !
    A randomly chosen C rated machine (White Knight 44AW) claims 3.3kWh per cycle which at current unit rates of approx 15p inc vat is about 50p – and that is just the electricity not the equipment capital costs.

    • Hi Owen. I tried to work it out and think you’re right. The landlord categorically said he didn’t want to rip people off, just prevent all their mates from using the dryer for free which is why he’s only made a nominal charge. It’s also in his interests to keep the humidity down – some of those rooms get incredibly sweaty and stuffy!

      Thanks for your comment.

  2. I’d say that the Coin Box may be a false economy, as you have the hassle of collecting it and the risk of theft. I’d hope that you could educate your Ts about how they will be subsidising your friends.

    A replacement condenser tumble dryer will cost around £150-200.

    I go for condenser ones, ideally plumbed in, with an extended warranty for around 10% extra.

    Is not the “clothes drying” party exactly the same problem as the cooker and the kettle which you don’t meter?

    But then you know your tenants. Do you meter the washer?

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