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laserkey 11.02.2020 16:47

Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Hi all, we just moved to a new apartment where each unit is assigned one day every 2 weeks for laundry.

How it works is the concierge places a key to the laundry room in your mailbox on your assigned day. After you finish, you're supposed to return the key to the concierge. Yes, this seems ridiculously inefficient, because:

What if the concierge is on holiday? What if you're on holiday? (We were told we're supposed to notify the concierge any time we're on extended leave)


This aside, on our assigned day for laundry, we did not receive the key, and now we have to wait 2 more weeks to use the laundry room. The concierge has been non-responsive to phone calls and never available when we ring her doorbell.

Is this normal? Is there someone we can contact? The real estate company for the apartment seems unresponsive to emails too, by the way.

Are these red flags, and we should move out and find a new place??

Meerkat33 11.02.2020 22:03

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Never heard of such a bizarre system. I think she would hopefully have several copies of the key since it's impossible that people always notify the concierge correctly.
Regarding the missed day, check your contract if it gives you some leverage, if yes and they don't give you your day back I would start a procedure at your conciliation office just to teach them a lesson.
She may have been in the hospital or worse, but if no backup exist such a system should not exist period

pilatus1 11.02.2020 22:11

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Dirty clothes sitting around for 2 weeks?

doropfiz 11.02.2020 22:21

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Have you asked your neighours about this? That's a good place to start. What do they do if the concierge is away or doesn't put the key in the letterbox? How to they manage their laundry if they need to be away on laundry day? Do some people swap times? Most importantly: are there other people who dislike this system?

The three laundry systems are broadly:
  1. fixed days allocated (as you have them)
  2. anyone can wash any time they find a machine free
  3. a schedule/timetable into which people can, of their own accord, reserve slots that would suit them to wash (sometimes with a maximum of slots/hours per week).

System 1. is fading out (but made sense historically, when one had to boil up the suds) and System 3. is becoming more usual. If you find enough neighbours who are interested in making the transition, you might be able to collectively ask the conciege and the rental agency to change the system.

In practice, then, those people who like System 1. go on just the same, and within System 3. they reserve the same days they formerly had allocated to them. An upper maximum limit can restrict this to some extent. Everyone else, liberated, reserves the slots that suit them, around those.

The matter of the key is secondary to the System. Where there is such strict control over the key it typically stems either from clinging to the old system because it has always been there, or else from a struggle by the agency to re-gain control after they've received a lot of complaints of people breaking the rules (washing during the allocated time of someone else, dirtying the laundry, leaving their own clothing lying around, taking other people's laundry out of the machine or off the line, etc.)

Sometimes, the turnover of the tenants naturally leads to such problems fading out of significance, but those who make the rules haven't yet noticed that. It is for this reason that I think it's worth asking as many neighbours as possible for their views, and whether they'd like to change the system.

If it just cannot be changed, it can at least be useful to become friendly with one or two neighbours, who can then informally swap a half a day. A good way to do this is to explain, for example, that although Wednesday and Thursday are your days, you're always at German school or at work on Wednesday mornings, so it'd be fine if they washed then, if they wanted to, and in exchange you'd be glad if you could use the machine at 18h on their Friday.

doropfiz 11.02.2020 22:24

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pilatus1 (Post 3147306)
Dirty clothes sitting around for 2 weeks?

Yeah, we had that in the first apartment in Switzerland. No litter on the streets, machines that vaccuum-clean the gravel below the train platforms, pretty wooden chalets dotted on green foothills, mountain snow glowing pristine white and beautiful, and inside all that, the dirty, dirty secret of lots and lots of pairs of underpants and socks, seething.

We managed to tip the system, as outlined above.

EdwinNL 11.02.2020 23:09

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
I'd raise hell if needed if I had to wait two extra weeks to be able to do laundry again due to somebody else refusing/forgetting to hand me the key.

(1 day every two weeks is already total bollocks if you ask me)

laserkey 12.02.2020 08:00

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Meerkat33 (Post 3147303)
Never heard of such a bizarre system. I think she would hopefully have several copies of the key since it's impossible that people always notify the concierge correctly.
Regarding the missed day, check your contract if it gives you some leverage, if yes and they don't give you your day back I would start a procedure at your conciliation office just to teach them a lesson.
She may have been in the hospital or worse, but if no backup exist such a system should not exist period

When you say conciliation office, this is different from the gérance, right?

We managed to reach the concierge early this morning, and she said our turn is supposed to be “next Tuesday” and to “meet her then.” We asked how come we didn’t receive the key LAST Tuesday (she’d told us the exact same thing and when we went to meet her, she never showed), and she dismissed us. The contract does include a line about how laundry access is available to the tenant, and I’m wondering if at this point it’s sufficient to threaten to break our lease.

Tom1234 12.02.2020 08:20

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
It would be probably more efficient if you took your clothes down to the river and washed them there.

The caretaker appears to be some sort of control freak. Why does he feel he needs to lock the door anyway - can you lot not be trusted?

I'd ask if you can go for some sort of informal rota instead. Ask the other neighbours too.

What the hell does a family do if the children are sick and vomiting everywhere for days at a time?

meloncollie 12.02.2020 08:29

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by laserkey (Post 3147331)

We managed to reach the concierge early this morning, and she said our turn is supposed to be “next Tuesday” and to “meet her then.” We asked how come we didn’t receive the key LAST Tuesday (she’d told us the exact same thing and when we went to meet her, she never showed), and she dismissed us. The contract does include a line about how laundry access is available to the tenant, and I’m wondering if at this point it’s sufficient to threaten to break our lease.

It sounds like you are in a situation that will be difficult to resolve.

First step: Join the Mieterverband (Asloca in the French side?) and ask for their advice as to how most effectively remedy the situation.

st2lemans 12.02.2020 08:49

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pilatus1 (Post 3147306)
Dirty clothes sitting around for 2 weeks?

Why not? :confused:

Tom

omtatsat 12.02.2020 09:03

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by laserkey (Post 3147213)
Hi all, we just moved to a new apartment where each unit is assigned one day every 2 weeks for laundry.

How it works is the concierge places a key to the laundry room in your mailbox on your assigned day. After you finish, you're supposed to return the key to the concierge. Yes, this seems ridiculously inefficient, because:

What if the concierge is on holiday? What if you're on holiday? (We were told we're supposed to notify the concierge any time we're on extended leave)


This aside, on our assigned day for laundry, we did not receive the key, and now we have to wait 2 more weeks to use the laundry room. The concierge has been non-responsive to phone calls and never available when we ring her doorbell.

Is this normal? Is there someone we can contact? The real estate company for the apartment seems unresponsive to emails too, by the way.

Are these red flags, and we should move out and find a new place??

our laundry room is always open. Generally one has to write ones name on the calendar list hanging in the laundry room for the day one wants. One day a week. If no day is taken then one can basically wash also on that day . No stress.

Get yourself a washmachine if its a problem for u

Belgianmum 12.02.2020 09:13

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by meloncollie (Post 3147334)
It sounds like you are in a situation that will be difficult to resolve.

First step: Join the Mieterverband (Asloca in the French side?) and ask for their advice as to how most effectively remedy the situation.

This! Definitely join Asloca and ask for their advice on this.
The situation as it stands is wholly unacceptable.

NotAllThere 12.02.2020 09:17

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by doropfiz (Post 3147307)
Have you asked your neighours about this? That's a good place to start. What do they do if the concierge is away or doesn't put the key in the letterbox?

I bet they've all got copies of the key.

omtatsat 12.02.2020 09:20

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
The laundry room is like the " holy grail " in CH.

Axa 12.02.2020 09:26

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by omtatsat (Post 3147346)
The laundry room is like the " holy grail " in CH.


Having a washing machine and dryer in the flat was a feature high on the list last time I moved. Not holy grail level, that's being walking distance from the bahnhof, but close.

hairybadger 12.02.2020 09:37

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pilatus1 (Post 3147306)
Dirty clothes sitting around for 2 weeks?

And if your slot is missed for whatever reason then that's 4 weeks between washes :eek:

greenmount 12.02.2020 09:40

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
You buy cheap new clothes and throw away the dirty ones. Problem solved. :rolleyes:

NOT.

Or start washing your clothes by hand......what an exciting thought! lol

Anything but waiting 2 or 4 weeks with dirty stuff around.

Axa 12.02.2020 10:12

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Back on topic, who is the responsible of managing the building? The contract must be specific about this.

It may be possible that the real estate company was just an intermediary to help the owner/manager of the building to find tenants. That may explain why they don't care anymore.

starDeMer 12.02.2020 11:20

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
save the planet, don't wash your clothes anymore :D

Tom1234 12.02.2020 11:29

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by starDeMer (Post 3147389)
save the planet, don't wash your clothes anymore :D

There are enough smelly people here who don't do that already. I thought they may just be lazy but it might be that they can only wash their clothes every few weeks due to an archaic laundry system.

It does explain those weird clothes hooks that everyone has on their balcony. They need to realise that a good airing isn't the same as washing though.

Cherub 12.02.2020 22:12

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
When my husband first came to Basel on his own he rented a studio apartment which had the once every 2 weeks allocation, which is alien coming from Britain. It was a very small building of about 10 flats and once you got to know the neighbours you could negotiate on swapping dates. I used to come over from Scotland and stay with him for a few weeks at a time, I was super organised on wash days and if I started at 8am on the dot I'd be finished by 5pm, including doing bedlinen and towels. If I'd cleared up in the basement neighbours would ring the doorbell to see if they could have the remaining few hours as you had it until 9pm. If you can make friends with the neighbours it goes a long way.

The elderly lady next door to my OH kind of adopted him and insisted on doing his laundry if I wasn't here, she was really nice!

When he got a 3 room apartment and I moved here we had the book your own slots system. It was much better but I ended up getting stuck with every Friday morning and people booked out slots a year in advance. Luckily we also has 2 washers and 2 dryers and you had power keys for all of them.

I now have the ultimate laundry holy grail, a new build apartment with a washer and dryer in a hall cupboard, also a huge communal drying room in the basement. I am a happy housewife :)

omtatsat 13.02.2020 08:21

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cherub (Post 3147706)
When my husband first came to Basel on his own he rented a studio apartment which had the once every 2 weeks allocation, which is alien coming from Britain. It was a very small building of about 10 flats and once you got to know the neighbours you could negotiate on swapping dates. I used to come over from Scotland and stay with him for a few weeks at a time, I was super organised on wash days and if I started at 8am on the dot I'd be finished by 5pm, including doing bedlinen and towels. If I'd cleared up in the basement neighbours would ring the doorbell to see if they could have the remaining few hours as you had it until 9pm. If you can make friends with the neighbours it goes a long way.

The elderly lady next door to my OH kind of adopted him and insisted on doing his laundry if I wasn't here, she was really nice!

When he got a 3 room apartment and I moved here we had the book your own slots system. It was much better but I ended up getting stuck with every Friday morning and people booked out slots a year in advance. Luckily we also has 2 washers and 2 dryers and you had power keys for all of them.

I now have the ultimate laundry holy grail, a new build apartment with a washer and dryer in a hall cupboard, also a huge communal drying room in the basement. I am a happy housewife :)

You're lucky.Theres nothing better than a happy housewife! These communal washing maschines are so full of bacteria.

starDeMer 13.02.2020 09:05

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
it's really showing that it's important to check the laundry system before renting a flat.
I didn't know, I was so lucky.

omtatsat 13.02.2020 09:13

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by omtatsat (Post 3147739)
You're lucky.Theres nothing better than a happy housewife! These communal washing maschines are so full of bacteria.

https://www.healthline.com/health-ne...ashing-machine

And for interest


https://www.healthline.com/health-ne...cteria-bombs#1

Cherub 13.02.2020 18:24

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
At our last apartment there were a couple of tenants who used to leave the laundry room in a mess and the caretaker threatened to get the lock changed so we'd have to ask her for the the key to use it.

There was a lady on the same landing as us who used to book huge slots out, went down there a few times to see what was available when she had laundry in the machines and I was convinced she was taking in washing. It was always stuff like dark blue boiler suits being washed on high temperatures and they didn't look like her husband's as the firm he worked for wore another colour. I think the caretaker was on to her as well, nothing ever used to get past Heidi, she was a tyrant when it came to the building being kept in good order :D

greenmount 13.02.2020 18:49

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by omtatsat (Post 3147755)

From your link

Quote:

Bacteria were found on laundry cleaned in consumer-grade washing machines at a hospital in Germany.
Experts say energy-efficient home washing machines can be a haven for bacteria because they wash clothes at lower temperatures.
But experts say most of the bacteria concentrations aren’t enough to make people seriously ill.
They do suggest occasionally cleaning the inside of your washing machine and drying clothes on lines outside.


Riiiight. I agree. I would love to line-dry my clothes not only for that but also because it's more gentle on clothes, clothes smell better, it saves money and energy.....however, can you imagine doing that anywhere in CH.....without at least 2 neighbours calling the police? :o

st2lemans 13.02.2020 19:22

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by greenmount (Post 3148003)
I would love to line-dry my clothes not only for that but also because it's more gentle on clothes, clothes smell better, it saves money and energy.....however, can you imagine doing that anywhere in CH.....without at least 2 neighbours calling the police? :o

Many Swiss line dry their clothes. :rolleyes:

Tom

greenmount 13.02.2020 20:07

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by st2lemans (Post 3148008)
Many Swiss line dry their clothes. :rolleyes:

Tom

I know only one Swiss who does that, but I always thought she's doing something semi-legal....just to defy her other Swiss neighbours.. :D
It must be one of those "rules" everyone learns about when lands here and they prove to be urban myths. :confused:
Haven't noticed people doing that where I live (or anywhere else here tbh, perhaps I didn't pay too much attention) so for me it's a good enough reason to not even try. ;)

Cherub 13.02.2020 20:37

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
I used to dry mines on a horizontal clothes airer on my balcony at the our last apartment, but it was one of those closed in winter room type balconies with a sliding window and you couldn't see the clothes hanging. It also had a flip down thing on the wall for things on hangers.

omtatsat 13.02.2020 20:44

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Red sails in the sunset-so romantic!

Belgianmum 13.02.2020 20:45

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by greenmount (Post 3148003)
From your link




Riiiight. I agree. I would love to line-dry my clothes not only for that but also because it's more gentle on clothes, clothes smell better, it saves money and energy.....however, can you imagine doing that anywhere in CH.....without at least 2 neighbours calling the police? :o

All the Swiss around here line-dry their clothes.

omtatsat 13.02.2020 20:56

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Belgianmum (Post 3148049)
All the Swiss around here line-dry their clothes.


"This homeowners association with its standard washing regulations is even creepy old-fashioned. It comes from a time when the housewife was at home the whole week and was working full-time, well. Today - there are supposed to be - women also do paid work, which is why sometimes only the Sunday is left to do household chores.

But it's about this laundry. And I have the suspicion that it doesn't look like the advertisement for fabric softener, that flower-white sheets don't sway gently in the wind, but that there are aesthetically dubious things hanging there. That you, dear Mr. M., prefer to look into the green instead of greyish-colored terry towels, worn out underpants and underpants in Bridget Jones format - I am completely with you. At least on Sunday you don't want to be bothered with the abysses of humanity and at least visually you have to be calm.

And I think yes, given the existence of a drying room and tumbler, there should be a compromise: that the dear neighbors should not use outdoor drying at the weekend. As an explanation, it must be enough that you just want it to be a little nice."

laserkey 18.02.2020 11:48

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Quick update:

Baloise is the real estate agency. I was told they own this building, in addition to being an insurance company. They have not responded to any of our emails or calls. :msnsick:

I'm thinking next step is the Asloca. Does anyone here know if the renters' associations speak English? Their website seems like it's all in French.

EastEnders 18.02.2020 12:23

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by st2lemans (Post 3148008)
Many Swiss line dry their clothes. :rolleyes:

Tom

I always did and still do.
Regardless if I lived in a home with shared laundry facilities or now in my own 4 walls.
In winter inside the house and in Summer outside on the balcony or now on my STEWI! Tumble drier was always used very seldom, starting from when they were a thing in CH.

curley 18.02.2020 12:30

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by EastEnders (Post 3149314)
I always did and still do.
Regardless if I lived in a home with shared laundry facilities or now in my own 4 walls.
In winter inside the house and in Summer outside on the balcony or now on my STEWI! Tumble drier was always used very seldom, starting from when they were a thing in CH.

Yup. So do I.

doropfiz 18.02.2020 20:57

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by laserkey (Post 3149297)
Quick update:

Baloise is the real estate agency. I was told they own this building, in addition to being an insurance company. They have not responded to any of our emails or calls. :msnsick:

I'm thinking next step is the Asloca. Does anyone here know if the renters' associations speak English? Their website seems like it's all in French.

The thing that is more likely (than any phone message or any mail) to actually get someone dealt with, in Switzerland, is a letter on paper, posted in an envelope.

And what could your neighbours advise you?

Belgianmum 18.02.2020 21:09

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by laserkey (Post 3149297)
Quick update:

Baloise is the real estate agency. I was told they own this building, in addition to being an insurance company. They have not responded to any of our emails or calls. :msnsick:

I'm thinking next step is the Asloca. Does anyone here know if the renters' associations speak English? Their website seems like it's all in French.

They have some English speaking people at ASLOCA, it depends on the branch you go to but it can take a while to get an appointment with an English speaker in some branches.

Did you get the key today?

greenmount 19.02.2020 21:41

Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by omtatsat (Post 3148055)
"This homeowners association with its standard washing regulations is even creepy old-fashioned. It comes from a time when the housewife was at home the whole week and was working full-time, well. Today - there are supposed to be - women also do paid work, which is why sometimes only the Sunday is left to do household chores.

But it's about this laundry. And I have the suspicion that it doesn't look like the advertisement for fabric softener, that flower-white sheets don't sway gently in the wind, but that there are aesthetically dubious things hanging there. That you, dear Mr. M., prefer to look into the green instead of greyish-colored terry towels, worn out underpants and underpants in Bridget Jones format - I am completely with you. At least on Sunday you don't want to be bothered with the abysses of humanity and at least visually you have to be calm.

And I think yes, given the existence of a drying room and tumbler, there should be a compromise: that the dear neighbors should not use outdoor drying at the weekend. As an explanation, it must be enough that you just want it to be a little nice."

OMG Omtatsat, that was funny.....but not everyone has dubious greyish things and underwear in Bridget Jones format ..:rofl: So that's what people are afraid of ... Funny.


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