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Old 15.06.2014, 19:09
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Warning for using shared washing machine on Sunday/holidays. What to do?

Hello dear expats

I moved to Switzerland last year. Now we live in Adliswil. We have installed a washing machine in our apartment and have not been using shared washing machine for last 3 months. Today I got a warning from landlord (an agency) that they got a "meldung" that I have used a shared washing machine on Sunday or on some holiday. Also I am not aware of any cases (except for one) that I did that. The exceptional case was more than a year ago and it was, kind of, an emergency.

Unfortunately there are no details included about time I supposedly used the machine. So I am wondering about few things:
- is it possible for them to be so slow to send me a warning a year after that Sunday use?
- should I reply? should I be defensive? should I deny everything? what is preferred "mode" of communication with agencies?

Although the wording of the warning suggests it was a shared washing machine, one day a washing machine in my apartment finished washing after 22:00, so I am wondering if they sent me a template warning without changing it to specify that it was an in-apartment washing machine. Thoughts?

Thank you!

P.S. I did try to search for similar topics, but failed. Sorry for the noise if there are some and I did not find them.
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Old 15.06.2014, 19:15
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Re: Warning for using shared washing machine on Sunday/holidays. What to do?

Didn't you think to follow up with your landlord first for more details?

From what you say, it sounds more like the complaint is against using your in-apartment machine late at night on a Sunday.

If you've got neighbours that go to bed early or have kids sleeping near the room with your machine, I guess that's the source of your complaint.

To get the definitive answer, you would need to contact your landlord. Anything else is going to be pure speculation.
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Old 15.06.2014, 19:18
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Re: Warning for using shared washing machine on Sunday/holidays. What to do?

Welcome to the Forum.

Does your agency know you have a private washing machine? Usually these are verboten unless they are allowed.

Maybe someone living underneath or above you is complaining that you washed on Sunday and thus made a lot of noise in their apartment.
Have you read your house rules, there is a copy with your contract. Making noises on a Sunday is usually against the town laws.
Maybe the agency received the message about washing machine, and became confused, not knowing about your secret machine?

Maybe you can ask the neighbours around you, ask if they can hear your machine when it is running.
Then you might pick up an indication of the nature of the complaint.

You should take this seriously. After 2 written warnings you can be thrown out!
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Old 15.06.2014, 19:19
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Re: Warning for using shared washing machine on Sunday/holidays. What to do?

I would assume that if they had more details, they would have included it in the warning.

Other than that, we have very limited experience with landlords in general and landlord in Switzerland especially. I heard horrible stories about landlords in Switzerland and about narrow-mindness of other tenants. So I wanted to get some gist about preferred ways of communication with them, before doing so.
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Old 15.06.2014, 19:23
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Re: Warning for using shared washing machine on Sunday/holidays. What to do?

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Welcome to the Forum.
Thank you!

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Does your agency know you have a private washing machine? Usually these are verboten unless they are allowed.
Yes. They do know and we signed an annex to our rental agreement to install the machine.

Quote:
Maybe someone living underneath or above you is complaining that you washed on Sunday and thus made a lot of noise in their apartment. Maybe the agency received the message and became confused, not knowing about your secret machine?
I never washed on Sunday, nor on any holidays I was aware of. I need to check if there were any holidays on Saturday, which I was not aware of and might have done laundry... Might be this a case?

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Maybe you can ask the neighbours around you, if they can hear your machine when it is running. Then you might pick up an indication of the nature of the complaint.
I do not have good enough German to communicate freely with neighbours. And many of them are older Swiss people, so it seems unrealistic to assume we speak a shared language.

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You should take this seriously. After 2 written warnings you can be thrown out!
Thank you for a warning! I will be very cautious.
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Old 15.06.2014, 19:24
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Re: Warning for using shared washing machine on Sunday/holidays. What to do?

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Hello dear expats

- is it possible for them to be so slow to send me a warning a year after that Sunday use?
It is Switzerland. I would not be surprised
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Old 15.06.2014, 19:29
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Re: Warning for using shared washing machine on Sunday/holidays. What to do?

Odile's post crossed with the OPs reply.

The next thing is to write a reply in correct German, and send it to the agency "Eingeschrieben". You say your German is poor,
then you must get it translated to a very good standard. You can deny the accusations, and ask the agency to make further
inquiries and to find out whom it was.
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Old 15.06.2014, 20:15
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Re: Warning for using shared washing machine on Sunday/holidays. What to do?

What Sbrinz said. Since you have permission for your private washing machine, I would point out that you do not use the communal washing machines at all.

Have someone translate it into German and send it by recorded delivery.
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Old 15.06.2014, 21:19
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Re: Warning for using shared washing machine on Sunday/holidays. What to do?

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What Sbrinz said. Since you have permission for your private washing machine, I would point out that you do not use the communal washing machines at all.

Have someone translate it into German and send it by recorded delivery.
send them a copy of the agreement for private wash machine and ask them to withdraw the warning.
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Old 15.06.2014, 21:21
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Re: Warning for using shared washing machine on Sunday/holidays. What to do?

Having permission to have your own washing machine does NOT give you permission do wash at any time or any day though, due to vibrations and noise.

I often wash after 9pm when electricity is cheaper, but I have NO neighbours at all.
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Old 15.06.2014, 21:35
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Re: Warning for using shared washing machine on Sunday/holidays. What to do?

Firstly do as Sbrinz and Village Idiot suggest, and write back pointing out that you do not use the shared machine at all because you have your own, and ask for the warning to be withdrawn.

IF it turns out that the complaint was actually about you using your own machine, then leave the agency to clarify that (don't offer it up as an option for them!). They should still withdraw the warning you've had, otherwise you might end up with two warnings for the same incident.

There have been quite a few public holidays here recently, often midweek, so is it possible that you've done laundry on a holiday without realising it? Anyway, don't "confess" unless the agents give you time and date - it could equally be one of the other neighbours at fault and nothing at all to do with you.
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Old 15.06.2014, 21:36
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Re: Warning for using shared washing machine on Sunday/holidays. What to do?

As I understand it, the rules for Nachtruhe apply. So between 7am and 10pm except Sundays and bank holidays. Unless your neighbours are real Bünzlis, they will also make exceptions in an emergency, e.g. you had a sick kid and the bedclothes need to be washed and it is Sunday or a holiday. But you just ask nicely.

Cheers,
Nick

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Having permission to have your own washing machine does NOT give you permission do wash at any time or any day though, due to vibrations and noise.

I often wash after 9pm when electricity is cheaper, but I have NO neighbours at all.
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Old 15.06.2014, 21:38
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Re: Warning for using shared washing machine on Sunday/holidays. What to do?

Better still, just phone the agency and ask what it's about.

Write a letter backing up the phone call if you have to.

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Firstly do as Sbrinz and Village Idiot suggest, and write back pointing out that you do not use the shared machine at all because you have your own, and ask for the warning to be withdrawn.

IF it turns out that the complaint was actually about you using your own machine, then leave the agency to clarify that (don't offer it up as an option for them!). They should still withdraw the warning you've had, otherwise you might end up with two warnings for the same incident.

There have been quite a few public holidays here recently, often midweek, so is it possible that you've done laundry on a holiday without realising it? Anyway, don't "confess" unless the agents give you time and date - it could equally be one of the other neighbours at fault and nothing at all to do with you.
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Old 15.06.2014, 21:41
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Re: Warning for using shared washing machine on Sunday/holidays. What to do?

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Odile's post crossed with the OPs reply.

The next thing is to write a reply in correct German, and send it to the agency "Eingeschrieben". You say your German is poor,
then you must get it translated to a very good standard. You can deny the accusations, and ask the agency to make further
inquiries and to find out whom it was.
TBH I would just reply in English & send it registered, they will understand & it's admissible in court. No doubt a misunderstanding
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Old 15.06.2014, 21:45
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Re: Warning for using shared washing machine on Sunday/holidays. What to do?

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Firstly do as Sbrinz and Village Idiot suggest...
Lordy - need sleep - I read that as "Sbrinz the village idiot"...
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Old 15.06.2014, 23:02
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Re: Warning for using shared washing machine on Sunday/holidays. What to do?

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Firstly do as Sbrinz and Village Idiot suggest, and write back pointing out that you do not use the shared machine at all because you have your own, and ask for the warning to be withdrawn.

IF it turns out that the complaint was actually about you using your own machine, then leave the agency to clarify that (don't offer it up as an option for them!). They should still withdraw the warning you've had, otherwise you might end up with two warnings for the same incident.
I would definitely do this.

Tell them that since you have a private machine, you obviously don't use the shared one. Maybe they will then point out that you used it a year ago or something, but it's up to them to do that. Maybe the complaint is more recent and it's not even your fault or it was about the private machine, so they have to correct the warning.
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Old 16.06.2014, 12:14
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Re: Warning for using shared washing machine on Sunday/holidays. What to do?

Ehm, honestly, I wouldn't even react.

I'm sure a neighbor complained because the machine was on until after 10pm. Just don't do it again. It was one time, and one warning, that'll be it, nothing will happen (I've lived here all my life and know about the ridiculousness of some of these "rules")

If you want to do anything, then do this:

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Better still, just phone the agency and ask what it's about.
Or send a quick e-mail, explaining you have an own washing machine, didn't use the shared one, assume the complaint was about using your own machine after 10pm, promise to be good citizen as of now on () and don't do it again. That's all.

I take it they didn't "threaten" to kick you out of the apartment, hence I see no reason to send any lengthy justification or explanation by registered mail.
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Old 16.06.2014, 15:26
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Re: Warning for using shared washing machine on Sunday/holidays. What to do?

You should react since they sent you something written.
Just tell them it wasn't you, that you have your own maschine with permit and don't use it on Sundays. Insist that they note your denial in your file because the will keep their letter for sure.

It's unlikely that they were there themselves on a Sunday, so it must have been a report by a neighbor. Just tell them that the neighbor must have been mistaken ... so this does not sit around in your dossier unanswered. That would look like accepting the cause.

Just 2 cents from a Swiss
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Old 16.06.2014, 18:08
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Re: Warning for using shared washing machine on Sunday/holidays. What to do?

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I often wash after 9pm when electricity is cheaper, but I have NO neighbours at all.
And here I was all excited about a way to lower my electric bill! Alas, it seems that in the "urban" areas of Neuchatel, full prices continue up until 23:00 most days. I do see that I should pack all my electricity usage into Saturday afternoon and Sunday - a bit of a Catch-22!
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Old 16.06.2014, 18:15
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Re: Warning for using shared washing machine on Sunday/holidays. What to do?

Start a revolution !ISIS is there to help
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