Dear Miss Nose
Our neighbor, Mr. Shepard, is always leaving tufts of hair in the apartment building’s dryers, especially in the spring. How can we tell him politely to clean out the vents?
Over heated in the laundry room
Is there a maintenance person or a manager of the complex? I would start there and voice your concerns about fire safety. Maybe you could tell the manager that you will go around with a petition to have a person hired to clean the vents. You could ask the management to “hire” Mr. Shepard as the cleaning person for the laundry area. This way it will be on him to clean all the vent traps as well as wash all the washers or dryers, sweep up the room, and keep it tidy.
Managers are great at letter writing memos to all tenants reminding them of certain “rules”. By not following the “rules” a tenant can be subjected to fines or told they are no longer allowed to use the facilities.
You can ask management to maybe make everyone come to them with a deposit to use a vent trap for the dryer. They could hold onto your license or some money like $100 and when you bring back the vent, clean of course, you get your money or item back from them. This would definitely make sure that all lint vents are clean.
You could write a reminder note and tape it to the wall. This way it is not just singling out Mr. Shepard. Go buy some really bright poster board and write in big letters placing it in spots all over the laundry area. Some can be placed on the dryers themselves. It could look something like this:
Another way, is to do your laundry while he is there, grab a bunch of clothes into your hands, and ask him to please clean out the vent for you since your hands are full.
Are you able to buy a washer and dryer to hook up in your apartment? This would be ideal and mean you would not have to be in a place that isn’t sanitary for anyone.
The simplest way is of course to just walk up to him and ask. You can say, “Mr. Shepard, will you please do me a favor? Would you please check the lint vents and clean them for me?” Maybe you can bribe him with an apple pie or ask him in a way that makes it seem like you don’t have time. You could use the old pity me because lines. Make him feel sorry for you because you have children or work long hours.
But, I, Miss Nose, would go to the management and have them place some sort of rule or hire someone to clean that area. This would be your best bet since then it would all be sanitary.
Best of luck to you and your fellow tenants.
If you need advice, contact Miss Nose.