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Is Washing Maching Outside Allowed in Rental?



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,978 ✭✭✭✭ elperello

    Conor.d2 wrote: »
    Thanks for all your comments. To add some context...
    - The washer/dryer is located outdoors in a small yard amongst a congested terrace of small houses, there is no garden. It is not inside a shed or enclosure but seems to be operating fine but noisily, every day for 2-3 hours per day with a whining noise for ages when the cycle is over. It has been there now for a long time (throughout frost etc.)
    - The landlord is known locally as a slumlord, and doesnt care about neighbours and will not engage in communication about any issues.
    Hence, why Im asking about what my rights are, and how I can appeal to a 'higher authority'
    The facts remain that the noise is a nuisance to me (despite what comments have been made above), and the landlord won't engage with me (so I cant ask them to change the settings etc..).

    That is a dangerous installation.
    It's a hazard to anyone using it and could result in electrocution.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,316 ✭✭✭ JustAThought

    I’d +1 for a case to the PRtB on the grounds of disruption due to noise - is the metl of the machine or undercarriage rollicking around against cement or a stone wall?

    Also, if it is electrical and not houses in a properly insulated shed it couid also pose a fire risk. As the landlord under the PTRB is obliged to keep the general house/appartment insurance going this outdoor electricial modification may not have been installed by a registered electrician, so may not be properly earthed and secure to use (outdoors) and pose a H&S risk to his tenants Nd to you. As the modification may not be compliant with safety insiltillations/standards it may also invalidate the property insurance - thus putting the LL in breach of PTRB tegulations and putting ypur property at risk from fire damage. Now you have noise & nuisance complaint, h&s compliance case and PTRB breech of t&c case. Raise one or all and the PTRB will be onto the LL who will fix it like a hot snot.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,342 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble

    ....As the landlord under the PTRB is obliged to keep the general house/appartment insurance going

    Where does this requirement for a landlord to keep the property insured come from?

    We all know it's a good idea. But is it a requirement?

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,112 ✭✭✭✭ Graces7

    Where does this requirement for a landlord to keep the property insured come from?

    We all know it's a good idea. But is it a requirement?

    Interesting point.

    OP the safety angle might be the best approach to the council as if they are informed they will be more likely to take action to avoid being taken to court.
    Stress the safety aspect?

    Try it?

    Island Anchorhold..

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,657 ✭✭✭ Claw Hammer

    Where does this requirement for a landlord to keep the property insured come from?

    We all know it's a good idea. But is it a requirement?

    It is a requirement. It is in the Residential Tenancies Act.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 32 Conor.d2

    How would one measure the decibel levels, and who would I report this to?

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,456 ✭✭✭✭ Spanish Eyes

    Just wondered if you have spoken to the tenants at all? The LL might not care, but the tenants are potentially exposed to electrical faults - and water (rain) and electricity do not mix. They might not care either though.

    I think you are on a hiding to nothing re the noise, it is notoriously difficult to get a resolution. Some people's noise is other people's normal. I'd go the safety standards/dangerous positioning route myself via RTB.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    It’s a noise pollution issue, but it sounds like the tenants should be putting pressure on the landlord to sort it out.

    A washing machine shouldn’t be installed outdoors and they’re not normally noisy. If it’s making that much noise, there’s something seriously wrong with it.

    It’s unlikely to be a fire hazard. That’s not a reasonable statement. If there’s an RCD installed (wiring from anything past about 1980) it’s also not a shock hazard, but it’s amazing it’s working at all if it’s being rained on. They’re not IP rated for any amount of spray with water.

    I’ve seen washing machines installed outside in very dry places, southern Spain for example but in semi sheltered areas like under balcony rooves or under shelters, but Ireland is basically continuously wet, prone to driving rain, drizzle, cool enough for regular dew and very unsuitable for that kind of installation.

    Your best approach might be to have a friendly chat with the tenants and offer to support a complaint to the landlord.

    I doubt they’re happy with a setup like that either.

  • Registered Users Posts: 416 ✭✭ moceri

    If the washing machine is being used outdoors, exposed to all weathers as you describe, then there may be a potential electrical hazard due to water ingress. This could form the basis of a complaint to Safe Electric Ireland. who could compel the landlord to make the installation compliant.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Safe Electric is a regulatory body for electricians. The only complaint you can make to them is about work carried out by a registered electrical contractor. They don’t have a role in general building inspections.

    It’s certainly not a safe electrical installation as you’re describing it, but it’s a private property and short of a complaint to the council there’s no other way of dealing with it.

    In the event of the machine causing an injury (electric shock most likely) whoever installed it could also be legally responsible.

    The problem is it’s basically an issue that needs to be disputed between the tenants and the landlord. You’re a third party and the only complaint you can reasonably make is about noise pollution.

    You should talk to the tenants and ask what’s going on and see if you can assist in a complaint to the landlord.

    They could also take a complaint to the RTB.

    It’s a dangerous way to install a washing machine. My concern on the electrical side is that it’s still running and the RCD hasn’t detected any leakage to earth, which might indicate that there’s no RCD or it’s been somehow bypassed. That would mean there’s a serious shock hazard.

    In a modern post-1980s installation, the sockets are protected with a 30mA RCD. That will trip if there’s any small current leakage to earth.

    It’s also possible that the machine is sheltered, and you’re not seeing how it’s installed very clearly. Eg if it were under a clear plastic roof etc with full shelter, it’s likely ok, if a bit crude.

    So you could be better off talking to the tenants directly.

    Noise pollution is an issue you need to raise with your city or county council. They’re the enforcement authority for that.

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on

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  • Registered Users Posts: 622 ✭✭✭ drogon.

    Has the washing machine been outside for a long time or is this a recent thing ?

    Surprised that it will last long in our climate, if it is just outside without any shelter.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    That’s what surprises me too. It wouldn’t be possible to put a washing machine outside here. The electronic and electrical components would be utterly wrecked after a few days of bad weather and the RCD would trip repeatedly if the machine had water in its casing.

    Im suspecting the machine is outdoors but under adequate shelter. It’s not that unusual for a machine to be in a “lean to” or similar structure.

    We had a washer and dryer in an enclosed, covered yard for many years without any issues and they certainly weren’t noisy.

    if the machine is making loud whining noises the bearings are gone. A washing machine normally makes no more than a putting noise and modern ones use AC motors that don’t have brushes, so they are even very silent on spin. If they’re on a concrete surface they will typically be far, far quieter than on a a wooden floor too.