Automatic clothes washer in rental properties

Hi guys,

I’ve just started the home inspector training, I’m taking the plumbing overview course at the moment. I understand that an automatic clothes washer connection is required in residential homes but what about rental properties? Here I’m thinking more about small vacation cottages.

This came to my mind as my wife is currently in the process of purchasing a small cottage that she intends to rent out. Most guests will stay for just a few days at a time but there is a hospital nearby so it is possible that she could rent the cottage out to a visiting nurse for a few months at a time. This particular cottage does not have an automatic clothes washer connection, so does that represent a code violation, or are rental properties exempt?

Advice and guidance is very welcome.


Small cottage I would not supply a clothes washer . Most towns have a place to wash your clothes

Required by whom?

Think apartments for example. Are laundry facilities in each unit REQUIRED or SIMPLY desirable. Then think cottage.

I’ve rented MANY fishing, hunting or vacation cabins, cottages, etc over the years with no laundry facility in them.

I am not aware that a clothes washer hookup and drain is required in a single family residence. Is this true?

Thanks for all the feedback.

Just to clarify, section 4.2 of the Residential Plumbing Overview for Inspectors course states “In general, for one- and two-family residential dwellings, each dwelling is required to have at least one water closet (toilet), one lavatory (bath sink), one bathtub or shower, one kitchen sink, and one automatic clothes washer connection.”

Perhaps the term “in general” means its not an actual requirement? This confused me and prompted my question.

Thanks again,

“Residential Plumbing Overview for Inspectors course” is not the plumbing code, so check the AHJ, always the municipality where the house is located. They may use the national code, they may add their own requirements to the national code, they may be using a older code than the latest one.
Apartment buildings will have laundry connections in each unit or a shared laundry room.
A house buyer will want to know there is laundry facilities as a buying decision, so stick to that. Home inspectors are not code enforcers.