Hang It Out To Dry

Drying laundry on the street will not be an option...but on, as opposed to over, your balcony is fine

Drying laundry on the street will not be an option…but on, as opposed to over, your balcony is fine


All weekend the social networks have been buzzin’ with the news that maybe Adeje council are going to try and stop you drying your clothes on the balcony.  Draconian, a breach of our human rights, we thought the worst.

Today in the coffee shop of the Adeje cultural centre the topic was the same…and Jose María Alvarez Acosta, the Adeje urban councillor was the man of the moment.  He sat down with English Time and explained what exactly had been passed and who it affected.  And lo and behold, some of the Spanish papers rushed to publish without reading the small print.

First of all there was already a similar ordinance in place in the borough regarding drying laundry and lighting barbecues on balconies, but it was ambigiuous. Neighbours and residents had begun to complain about lines of clothes hung over balconies or from windows onto public streets, so the council felt they had to act.

So, what happened last Friday?  An ordinance, or by-law, has been proposed which would ban people from hanging out laundry to dry over the balcony, if that balcony happens to be onto a street. So if, up until now, you have been using your trusted clothes horse to dry your clothes on your balcony, you are perfectly entitled to continue to do so.  It is only over the balcony in full public view that is now under considertion.  And under consideration it still is.  According to Jose Maria, there is still a 5-6 week window where members of the public can make their views felt on the ordinance before it is fully integrated into the borough’s by laws.

Even then, if approved, it won’t mean that the `laundry police’ will come knocking on your door and fine you for hanging a towel over the balcony. They might come and advise you that it is against the by-law and ask you to comply, as they would do if you were playing music late at night or your dog was barking all day and disturbing the peace.

So, no need to hide your freshly laundered smalls.  As long as your laundry is within the confines of your own private balcony you are in breach of nothing.