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Old 11.02.2020, 16:47
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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??
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Old 11.02.2020, 22:03
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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
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Old 11.02.2020, 22:11
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Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive

Dirty clothes sitting around for 2 weeks?
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Old 11.02.2020, 22:21
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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.
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Old 11.02.2020, 22:24
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Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive

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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.
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Old 11.02.2020, 23:09
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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)
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Old 12.02.2020, 08:00
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Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive

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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.
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Old 12.02.2020, 08:20
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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?
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Old 12.02.2020, 08:29
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Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive

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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.
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Old 12.02.2020, 08:49
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Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive

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Dirty clothes sitting around for 2 weeks?
Why not?

Tom
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Old 12.02.2020, 09:03
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Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive

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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

Last edited by omtatsat; 12.02.2020 at 09:18.
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Old 12.02.2020, 09:13
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Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive

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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.
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Old 12.02.2020, 09:17
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Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive

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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.
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Old 12.02.2020, 09:20
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Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive

The laundry room is like the " holy grail " in CH.
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Old 12.02.2020, 09:26
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Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive

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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.
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Old 12.02.2020, 09:37
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Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive

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Dirty clothes sitting around for 2 weeks?
And if your slot is missed for whatever reason then that's 4 weeks between washes
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Old 12.02.2020, 09:40
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Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive

You buy cheap new clothes and throw away the dirty ones. Problem solved.

NOT.

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

Anything but waiting 2 or 4 weeks with dirty stuff around.
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Old 12.02.2020, 10:12
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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.
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Old 12.02.2020, 11:20
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Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive

save the planet, don't wash your clothes anymore
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Old 12.02.2020, 11:29
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Re: Weird laundry system, concierge non-responsive

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save the planet, don't wash your clothes anymore
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.
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