Backyards Only. Starting January 1, 2016, residents can install clotheslines and drying racks in their exclusive use backyards. The statute defines a clothesline to include a cord, rope, or wire from which laundered items may be hung to dry. Fortunately, the bill specifically prohibits a balcony, railing, awning, or other part of a structure from qualifying as a clothesline. (Civ. Code § 4753.)
Reasonable Restrictions. Associations can adopt reasonable restrictions on clotheslines and drying racks. It defines "reasonable restriction" as one that does not significantly increase the cost of using a clothesline or drying rack.
Recommendation: If boards want to regulate clotheslines, they need to amend their rules. At some point, associations will also need to amend their CC&Rs to remove clothesline prohibitions.
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