Topic: Theft from community washers and dryers

Kristine Lawrence's Avatar Topic Author
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I've had numerious people come up to me and tell me that they've either had their clothes stolen out of the washer and/or dryer or that people take their clothes out so they can use the washer and/or dryer. Anyone have a good way to handle this. Im going to put a letter in our news letter but how should I write it so it doesnt seem mean?
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Posted 12 years 3 months ago
Johnny Karnofsky's Avatar
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I would say that there have been a number of complaints about this issue recently and remind residents that it is their responsibility to make sure that their laundry advances in such a way as to not interfere with other residents who also need to use the machines.

This approach points no fingers, but does put all residents on notice that your team knows that this is a problem.

I would be glad to look at your newsletter entry if you want a new set of eyes....
Posted 12 years 3 months ago
Last edit: by Johnny Karnofsky.
Lori Crisafulli's Avatar
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well let's see who is the problem here...the people that leave their clothes in the machines for hours on end holding up everyone else..or the people that take them out so they can exercise their right to the facilities that they pay for?

Then their are the thieves..not nice.. and not right; but if the clothes were not left in the machines for hours on end perhaps they would not get stolen.

Six in one...how about a blog in the newsletter about being courteous to your neighbor - remove clothes ASAP
Posted 12 years 3 months ago
Johnny Karnofsky's Avatar
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I would suggest a regular column for the newsletter, and perhaps have a resident actually write it.... call it: "Like a Good Neighbor.......". Have it address things residents can do to help each other, or make being neighbors a positive thing.....
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Posted 12 years 3 months ago
Rose M's Avatar
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Great Question Kristine!

A common issue in multifamily housing. At my property, we have washers & dryers that have display timers so the resident knows exactly when the machine will finish. We advise everyone stay in the laundry waiting area while they are doing laundry and to take their clothes out of the machines promptly.

We put a buffet table and some chairs in the laundry waiting area, a bookshelf, some books from our book exhange, etc. We are considering moving the fitness center to the laundry waiting area.

Since our laundry room is inside our secured building and not across the parking lot, we can leave it open 24 hours without any problems. There is a group of young male residents who have weekly midnight laundry/poker parties. :laugh:

Unfortunately, we have had several complaints about theft, so we did post the laundry room rules stating that we are not liable for any losses. This statement is also in their rental agreement. Residents with renters insurance are covered so they should be able to get reimburses from their insurance company.

Here are the rules we have posted in our laundry room:

Laundry Room Rules:
1.Empty lint trap in dryer before each load (helps your clothes dry faster.)

2.Remove your clothes promptly so that others can use machine.

3.Close lids gently so they don’t make a “BANG” and disturb your neighbors.

4.Report any machine malfunctions to the office by filling out a maintenance request. Be sure to include the machine number.

5.Georgetown is not responsible for loss due to malfunction or theft. If you leave your clothes unattended, you do so at your own risk.
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Posted 12 years 3 months ago
Johnny Karnofsky's Avatar
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I like the thought of placing a lounge type setting near the laundry facility; I would add a TV or maybe even WiFi access. It would encourage folks to stay while laundry is being done.

I also support the idea of making renter's insurance a requirement of residency.
Posted 12 years 3 months ago
Rose M's Avatar
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I love the tv/wifi idea, but unfortunately, we know from experience that the equipment would be stolen within a week!

We put nice furniture in there and it was gone in two days. We have replaced the chairs three time so far this year. The buffet has disappeared twice, but we are pretty good at getting it back when we see it while doing unit inspections. It hasn't disappeared since we put a "Property of Georgetown Manor" label on it, but it was damaged and bent up pretty good so apparently someone was angry about that.
Posted 12 years 3 months ago
Johnny Karnofsky's Avatar
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I can see that... WiFi equipment can be hidden inside a wall, and a TV can be bolted to a wall. Since theft is a problem, perhaps a small security camera (mounted in an upper corner of each laundry room) with offsite monitoring; would not be a bad idea......
Posted 12 years 3 months ago
Rose M's Avatar
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I would love to have video surveillance monitoring, and we did check into it, but its way outside of our "B" properties budget.
Posted 12 years 3 months ago
Robert Garcia's Avatar
Robert Garcia
I have seen a few ways to combat this. I have seen where properties put in video cameras to their laundry rooms, and as such there is a record of these things happening. I have also seen properties put in fake cameras (much less expensive), with signs that say that the room is subject to video monitoring. Managers have told me that this is also effective.

There are also ways to have machines send a text message to the resident when the machine has finished it's cycle. You see these a whole bunch in the college laundry rooms.
Posted 12 years 2 months ago
Anne Sadovsky's Avatar
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First and foremost,is your clothes care center clean, painted, comfortable and inviting? Why? Because it should encourage the residents to STAY with their laundry. Do you have a television bolted high on the wall? How about an exercise bike, a shelf with resident donated books for borrowing / exchanging? Do you have a great table for clothes folding? How about a controlled bulletin board where they can post items to sell or things they want to buy? We cannot be liable for laundry left unsupervised, and it is understandable that if a resident needs a dryer and they are full of dry clothing, that they will pile it out...I would, too! So clean up, decorate with cheerful colors, issue some policies and a plea to take care of the clothes center, be responsible for your own laundry, and be a good neighbor! Do you keep it locked and issue keys for residents use? Do you ask that it not be a play area for our under 14 residents? Be proactive!!
Posted 12 years 2 months ago
Dawn Robertson's Avatar
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Wow,Anne! What a great idea. I don't know how many times I've seen neglected clothes care centers and laundry flung hither and yon. If more communities implement this, there should be a great reduction in crime as well as resident retention and a heightened sense of community. Thanks! Dawn Robertson
Posted 12 years 2 months ago
Johnny Karnofsky's Avatar
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I was at a property that placed it's laundry facility adjacent to the pool; with a patio. It made it pleasant on most days to hang out there. They also placed a WiFi transmitter in the area. This is the building where the office, clubhouse (with TV), and fitness center (also with TV) was located as well. The laundry facility was large enough to accommodate about a dozen loads at any given time (usually representing 4 or 5 residents) There were 6 sets of washers and dryers in the facility, with a large folding area. They also placed bins for residents to place old clothes and canned food items for a local shelter.
Posted 12 years 2 months ago
Last edit: by Johnny Karnofsky.
Anonymous's Avatar
Anonymous
Well this lady did exactly that left her clothes in the dryer and someone took a couple pairs of her pants and she reported it to the office and they called the police and are trying to charge somebody with theft cause they took some of the clothes. Do you think this is right?
Posted 6 years 3 months ago
Rose M's Avatar
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per the rental agreement, residents are responsible for their own things and management is not responsible for their losses. If they leave their clothes unattended, there is nothing management can do.
Posted 6 years 3 months ago
Gainesville Apartments's Avatar
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That sounds stressful. Have you tried installing an IP camera and/or adding a flyer in the laundry room that warns people that they are on camera? If you install an IP camera that records a reasonable number of days before it writes over the data, you can watch back in the video to determine if you are having problems with a single person or different people, and use this info to come up with a strategy on how to stop it from happening in the future.

Also, have you tried installing a lock on the laundry room door with non-duplicate keys? This would prevent non-residents from stealing clothes or vandalizing the unit.
Posted 6 years 3 months ago
Jade R's Avatar
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Thank you Christine for sharing this info.
Posted 5 years 9 months ago
Jade R's Avatar
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A surveillance camera and Laundry room rules is what I would recommend. I know its outside of the budget right now but definitely something to look in to since not only it would help with this issue, but will also make residents feel safe doing laundry late night.
Posted 5 years 9 months ago
Anonymous's Avatar
Anonymous
In no way does that justify STEALING someone else's clothes. Throw them on the floor, throw them in the trash bin if you are that angry. Thieves are worse than inconsideration or inconvenience. Does someone have the right to steal your car if you block someone's driveway? Or would it just get towed and force you to do what's required to get your car back. When someone steals laundry, that person has lost an expensive chunk of their needed wardrobe. They can't go pay a fine and get it back.
Posted 4 years 11 months ago
Betsy's Avatar
Betsy
I left an expensive king flat sheet in the dryer overnight. My mistake. Someone in my building of 12 residents took it. It has been one month. I left signs in the laundry room. No response. I as m shocked. This is an affluent high rent area. My neighbors are petty and hate children (grandchildren ). Now, these snot ass people are thieves too. I have lived in many areas. Never, has my laundry been stolen.Sickening.
Posted 4 years 8 months ago
Anonymous's Avatar
Anonymous
How about people literally have jobs and can’t stay to watch their clothes all day when they have no days off? I have two jobs and sure I’m not the only one. I got from one job to the next almost everyday. So in my down time I (which is like an hour) I drop off some clothes to the laundry center as I can’t afford a washer and dryer right now. How about people don’t steal all of the clothes that I have.
Posted 1 year 11 months ago
Dwayne Conyers's Avatar
Dwayne Conyers
My most recent loss was TWO LOADS in the dryer, a combination of clothing and towels/linens. I stood by the machines during the wash load, but had to run to the bathroom during the dry cycle. A quick piss was enough time for them to take every stitch of my clothing and bath towels. We have no cameras where I live.
Posted 1 year 2 months ago
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