Dave’s at the SF Appeal to answer your questions every Wednesday, so send them to him at firstname.lastname@example.org
I live in a 16-unit building in San Francisco (rent controlled, if that matters). We have a laundry room in the basement with two coin-op washers and dryers. Due to the fact that the laundry room is underneath someone’s apartment and also uses some of the building’s hot water, use of the washers and dryers has always been restricted to 10am-10pm. I work a shifted schedule, so sometimes the only time I have available to do my laundry is weekday mornings.
Until recently, this has never been a problem and I’ve been able to start the washers at a few minutes after 10:00, however many times over the past two months, I have found the laundry room door closed and locked during the day. Sometimes it is opened during the day and other times it remains closed. I have spoken to the building manager (who lives upstairs) about this, and he said that someone in the building (most likely the tenant who lives above the laundry room) is closing the door (which locks automatically) and since he works during the day, he cannot unlock it until he gets home. He said he had received some other complaints as well, and he would try to rectify the situation.
It’s now been 3 weeks since I spoke with him, and nothing has changed.
My question is whether I have any legal recourse if this keeps happening. Do tenants have a right to use the building’s community laundry room during posted hours? I don’t pay any extra for the laundry room (aside from quarters to use the machines), but it was advertised as a feature of the building when I found the apartment and thus weighed into my decision to move in.