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Old 29.10.2020, 10:34
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Hauswart closing communal laundry room

Hi all,

I have recently moved to a new flat and I'm experiencing some troubles with the communal laundry room.
On the contract, which I read carefully before signing, under the point "laundry room" the only limitation written is about the washing time, forbidden between 22:00 and 6:00.

Now, I'm ok with that, but the first time I wanted to do my laundry, I found the door locked without any apparent reason.
I texted the Hauswart lady (which lives in the same building) and after a while I got a text saying that she locks the door because sometimes people do not leave the room clean. Therefore, everytime you want to do your laundry, you have to ask here in advance, ring at her door, go down with her to the laundry room and she will open the door. Same procedure at the end, so she can check if you left everything clean.

What the hell.

BUT then, right after, she texted me again, saying that she changed her mind and she will leave the door open and check from time to time.

Ok, crisis solved, I thought (aside the fact that we do not have a washing plan )

Flash forward two weeks, I go downstairs with my basket and I find the door locked.
Text her, no answer. Ring her bell. No answer.
I got a text in the middle of the night (1 AM) saying that she will open the door the day.

At this point I was a mixed of confused and angry.
I couldn't understand anymore this lady, what she had in mind etc.
We even have a bulletin board at the entrance, she could have posted something there.

The next day I wrote a firm but polite mail to the Hausverwaltung asking to clarify the situation with her.
I got a first email saying they will tell her to stop doing this, but after half an hour I got another one, where they were agreeing with her.

Now, this is very frustrating for me.
Such condition are not stated in the contract and I think that is not fair.
Some weeks I have a pretty irregular schedule due to work and other personal meetings, I cannot plan in advance my laundry and especially I cannot wait for this lady to be home.
Also, I understand the 22:00 to 6:00 rule, but weekends are forbidden too.
This do not make any sense, as the laundry room is in the basement right under the service toilet of the restaurant on the ground floor.

I have already got in touch with the MieterVerband and they replied that unfortunately they understand the situation, but this lady as the legal right to do so.

I was now wondering if somebody else ever had a similar issue or has any tip to give.

Thanks in advance
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Old 29.10.2020, 11:00
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Re: Hauswart closing communal laundry room

She's in a no-win situation - if she leaves the door open and the place becomes a mess, people complain. If she locks the door, people complain.

Why can't you agree a time in advance with her the next day when you will have access? Surely you have some points in that 16 hour range when you're not busy!

I know you don't have a fixed schedule, but the alternative could be a weekly washing timetable for everyone, which would suit you even less.
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Old 29.10.2020, 11:01
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Re: Hauswart closing communal laundry room

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I was now wondering if somebody else ever had a similar issue or has any tip to give.
She's a control freak and probably won't change.

The adult way for her to deal with this would be for her to find out who is leaving the room messy and address that problem.

She's not acting like an adult.

Good luck.
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Old 29.10.2020, 11:07
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Re: Hauswart closing communal laundry room

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She's a control freak and probably won't change.

The adult way for her to deal with this would be for her to find out who is leaving the room messy and address that problem.

She's not acting like an adult.

Good luck.
The OP probably hasn't experienced the whole history.

I'm sure there was a period of passive-aggressive notices preceding the door locking
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Old 29.10.2020, 11:25
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Re: Hauswart closing communal laundry room

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Hi all,

I have recently moved to a new flat and I'm experiencing some troubles with the communal laundry room.
On the contract, which I read carefully before signing, under the point "laundry room" the only limitation written is about the washing time, forbidden between 22:00 and 6:00.

Now, I'm ok with that, but the first time I wanted to do my laundry, I found the door locked without any apparent reason.

I was now wondering if somebody else ever had a similar issue or has any tip to give.

Thanks in advance
Superglue the lock and claim ignorance, because if someone was repeatedly locking the washing room door during my agreed time that is what I would do.
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Old 29.10.2020, 11:31
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Re: Hauswart closing communal laundry room

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I was now wondering if somebody else ever had a similar issue or has any tip to give.
My tip: move out so that you don't have to deal with them or buy a washing machine.
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Old 29.10.2020, 11:35
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Re: Hauswart closing communal laundry room

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The OP probably hasn't experienced the whole history.

I'm sure there was a period of passive-aggressive notices preceding the door locking
As I wrote - she's not behaving as an adult - and more importantly, she's not treating the tenants as adults too.
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Old 29.10.2020, 11:40
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Re: Hauswart closing communal laundry room

I think best would be to contact the Vermieter (Landlord) or the Verwaltung (Management of the House / Apartments) and tell them about the situation.

But it would be a good strategy to express your understanding about the hassle which the Hauswart experiences. As others pointed out, it's really a no-win situation for her :/ With expressing your understanding, there might be a positive change in the short run.

But for the long run, I would move. If possible, to a flat with your own washing machine.

I really understand her, people leaving the communal washing room with a mess is a widespread problem and really annoying. But just closing it down and acting as a control freak is not the solution and as you said, childish.


Quote:
Also, I understand the 22:00 to 6:00 rule, but weekends are forbidden too.
This do not make any sense, as the laundry room is in the basement right under the service toilet of the restaurant on the ground floor.
That's unusual, it's common to forbid washing on Sundays, but not the whole weekend. And in this situation, if no neighbours are disturbed, I would say even sunday would be fine.

Last edited by TheComic; 29.10.2020 at 13:11.
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Old 29.10.2020, 12:52
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Re: Hauswart closing communal laundry room

Why dont you suggest a weekly reservation schedule? She then knows when door has to be open & if she wants can inspect if the room has been cleaned.
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Old 29.10.2020, 13:02
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Re: Hauswart closing communal laundry room

Have you checked to see if installing a washing machine in your own flat is possible?

Obviously this would need to be out of your own pocket, but if your landlord would allow you to do so it would be IMO worth the expense.

Alternatively, as TheComic says, you should consider moving if possible. Laundry room wars tend to go on and on and on.
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Old 29.10.2020, 13:43
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Re: Hauswart closing communal laundry room

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Have you checked to see if installing a washing machine in your own flat is possible?

Obviously this would need to be out of your own pocket, but if your landlord would allow you to do so it would be IMO worth the expense.

Alternatively, as TheComic says, you should consider moving if possible. Laundry room wars tend to go on and on and on.
WTF guys... recommending to move over a washing room disagreement? What a hilarious overreaction. Spending money on a washing machine and plumbing is also excessive unless as a last resort when all else has failed.

This situation can very likely be sorted out with some firm but fair discussion with the letting agency and the hauswart, maybe even involving. No-one should be blocking access to a wash room during regular hours. Fact.
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Old 29.10.2020, 13:51
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Re: Hauswart closing communal laundry room

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WTF guys... recommending to move over a washing room disagreement? What a hHilarious overreaction. Spending money on a washing machine and plumbing is also excessive unless as a last resort.

This can very likely be sorted out with some firm but fair discussion with the letting agency and the hauswart. No-one should be blocking access to a wash room during regular hours. Fact.

Fully Agree.

But it strongly seems like that...:
  • ... lot of neighbouring tenants are messy
  • ... Hauswart prefers radical solutions to please her own control-freakishness, instead of solving the Problem for everyone
This looks like a potential neighbourhood-war-situation.

So, if talking doesn't solve the situation and to keep your inner peace in the long term, get your own washing machine or move to place with a considerate social environment. I've been through this a few times myself, I know it's super annoying and unjust...
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Old 29.10.2020, 14:10
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Re: Hauswart closing communal laundry room

No helpful tip unfortunately, just want to say this would absolutely drive me insane too!
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Old 29.10.2020, 14:13
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Re: Hauswart closing communal laundry room

Thanks everyone for the replies.
I would say that moving out it's out of discussion. I just moved last month, finding another flat on my own in Zürich for the size/price I got it's nearly impossible in the short term.
Also, no chance for the washing machine in my flat, the bathroom is too small.

As already suggested by somebody, I have already got in touch with the Verwaltung, but they are on her side.

About my "ignorance" of the previous situation, that's true, maybe before it was a mess and now it's better, but given the type of person I also believe that she would freak out for a minimum level of untidiness....

I would try to ask again for a weekly schedule and try to adapt to her method.
The thing is that I believe now she is upset with me, as last time I have asked her to do the laundry, she only read my message without any reply (blue thick on whatsapp), and when I was done and asked her if I left everything tidy enough or if she could give me any indication, again, she did not reply (I believe it's a bit childish).

The other thing that demoralized me is that the MieterVerband gave up so quickly. Is there no chance I can rediscuss the contract if the situation do not change?
I mean, what upset me most here is that the contract is not matching the reality. To an extent, is like I had rented a flat with a parking spot, but I can use this parking spot only when the owner let me park. Would it be fair?
I believe not.
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Old 29.10.2020, 14:37
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Re: Hauswart closing communal laundry room

Since you are stuck in this situation, I really think you should fight this...if you have the energy. You are completely in the right. The lady, the Mieterverband and the Hausverwaltung are just doing whatever is easiest for them brushing you off, not what is 'legal'. If you make it more difficult for them, they will eventually cave in. Maybe it will be easiest if you try and just sweet talk the lady first. She is being unbelievably selfish and childish, welcome to some-old-people-in-CH. Try not to let it get to you too much, let's assume they haven't had it easy.
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Old 29.10.2020, 14:45
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Re: Hauswart closing communal laundry room

Be nice to her. Friends close, enemies closer.
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Old 29.10.2020, 15:12
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Re: Hauswart closing communal laundry room

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WTF guys... recommending to move over a washing room disagreement?
Nah. When you have problems like this, that's not enough. Buy your own house so you never have to deal with such issues again.

Maybe it would be possible to bribe her into giving you your own key to the laundry room.
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Old 29.10.2020, 17:13
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Re: Hauswart closing communal laundry room

What I can't work out is how you can really mess up a laundry room - in such a bad way that the Hauswart has to resort to locking it and having a inspection after every use?

So, OP, what were the heinous crimes that were committed?


Did someone leave a single sock in the washing machine?

Did someone leave a bit of fluff in the dryer door?

So, firstly what could anyone do to a laundry room to make it so unusable?

Secondly, isn't it the Hauswart's job, for which she is paid, to keep the communal areas clean?
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Old 29.10.2020, 17:23
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Re: Hauswart closing communal laundry room

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What I can't work out is how you can really mess up a laundry room - in such a bad way that the Hauswart has to resort to locking it and having a inspection after every use?

So, OP, what were the heinous crimes that were committed?


Did someone leave a single sock in the washing machine?

Did someone leave a bit of fluff in the dryer door?

So, firstly what could anyone do to a laundry room to make it so unusable?

Secondly, isn't it the Hauswart's job, for which she is paid, to keep the communal areas clean?
Good point... it's likely she's just a very fussy and grumpy old dear.

I still vote for supergluing the lock.
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Old 29.10.2020, 17:25
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Re: Hauswart closing communal laundry room

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Secondly, isn't it the Hauswart's job, for which she is paid, to keep the communal areas clean?
It isn't. The Hauswart cares about regular cleaning of shared spaces. Like mopping up the stairway once a week. And fixing stuff that is broken around the House. But definitely not cleaning after each tenant if they leave the washing area like a mess.

In my experience, you can be really lucky if you have a Hauswart who lives right at the place. They tend to look after the place way more carefully than like hired Hauswart-Services, who just pass by once a week and need to be informed of every broken lightbulb by E-Mail

But the Hauswart's Salary is very low, they deal with complaints all the time and they often have no other work perspective...

So, please, if you can, be nice to them.
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