Re: Coin- or card-operated laundry machines at cohos?
From: Katie Henry (katie-henryatt.net)
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2018 10:30:10 -0800 (PST)
At my former community, we leased our washers and dryers (three of each) from a 
company that provides laundry room equipment to apartment buildings. 
Maintenance and service is included in the lease fee, so you have a predictable 
monthly expense. The equipment they provide is larger and more durable than 
units meant for home use. 
Leased equipment normally comes equipped with coin slots or card readers, which 
is how the company collects its income, but we decided we didn't want to charge 
for use, so instead we negotiated a monthly lease fee. I don't know if you 
could retrofit payment equipment onto existing machines. Would an honor system 
work? 
Whether or not to charge for laundry equipment is something you'll need to work 
out within the community, just like for any other amenity that benefits some 
more than others. 
In my situation, I was glad we decided not to charge for laundry equipment 
because, as a single, child-free person, the laundry room was the only common 
house feature that directly benefited me. I was happy to contribute my share to 
building, furnishing, and maintaining our vast kid-focused facilities and other 
spaces I never used -- bike storage, workshop, craft room, guest rooms, etc. -- 
so it would have rankled for the community to make me pay for the one thing I 
actually did use. 
If you do decide to charge for laundry room usage and not for other amenities, 
you may be passing the expense to residents of small units with no room for a 
washer/dryer or residents who may not be able to afford their own equipment in 
favor of residents with plenty of space and money. Is that really how you want 
to structure things?
Katie Henry

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