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robjame Jan 11th, 2007 09:28 AM

A couple of apartment rental detail questions
How do you deal with the return of your security deposit? If it is a PayPal refund, you get dinged on the exchange. If it is a cheque, you get dinged on the exchange.
How do Parisiennes dry their clothes - most apartments list a clothes washer but no dryer - or is it a combination thing? and does it work?

kbrennan Jan 11th, 2007 09:48 AM

Can't help with the security deposit question - we have rented with companies that did business in dollars so there was no discrepancy.
The apartments we have rented in Paris had washer-dryer combination appliances. They worked fine, but the washing/drying process takes 2-3 hours. We put laundry in when we went to bed and checked it in the morning to see if it needed additional drying time. The machines were super quiet and did not disturb our sleep.

Christina Jan 11th, 2007 09:55 AM

I have only dealt with agencies that used damange insurance or a CC, so never had to deal with getting an actual refund check.

AS for the dryers, believe it or not, but many of them do not have dryers and just string the clothes up around the room to dry (actually they use dryer racks, I have one in my home and use it quite a bit, also). I have no idea what they do to dry sheets, towels, etc., that would take forever or not work well that way.

fishee Jan 11th, 2007 10:10 AM

Seems the only way to avoid paying fees is:

1. they accept a U.S. personal check and return it to you when you leave. (my favorite method but is offered most frequently with the cheaper apartments)

2. they accept a cash deposit and return the cash when you leave. This second option is perfectly acceptable to me if I'm continuing on in Europe and still need Euro. Otherwise, it's a pain and I resort to shopping at duty-free just to spend it.

In our Italy and Spain apartments, we hung our clothes outside since there were never dryers -- all of the apartments I've seen have some kind of clothes line contraption outside the balconies. I was mortified to come back one afternoon and see a line of my g-strings blowing in the breeze but I got over it. In the winter, I put a couple of things on the radiator and it dried in no time.

Remember to ask for instructions on how to use the washer, otherwise be prepared for a scene out of Space Odyssey, 2001. (I could actually hear the Vienna Philharmonic start to play as the 4 of us watched a weak stream of water drizzle across the window, after 35 minutes of button-pressing and head-scratching)

robjame Jan 11th, 2007 10:22 AM

Thanks for your help.
I will try to arrange the returned cheque technique - seems to be the simplest.
As for clothes drying, we will have to get explicit instructions and prepare for an "all-nighter" or just hang em out to dry.

WillTravel Jan 11th, 2007 10:25 AM

I know many people don't agree, but I consider it so worth it to go to a laundromat (some will even do your laundry for you), and get the clothes properly washed and dried.

Mimar Jan 11th, 2007 10:30 AM

But, Will Travel, it's timesaving to do your laundry during your downtime. And doesn't require a trip to the laundromat. Plus I'm never sure a laundry service will read all the labels and handle each item according to the instructions.

Leely Jan 11th, 2007 10:46 AM

I used to be so baffled by those washer/dryer combos. Had them in apartments in Italy and in France. Now I have one myself (I live in San Francisco, and it fits neatly in my linen closet). They're not difficult, robjame, just time-consuming. If it's warm while you're there, it may be quicker to hang your clothes dry.

I think I've only rented with CC deposit and the two methods fishee mentions. I've never had any problems (knocking wood right now).

missypie Jan 11th, 2007 10:52 AM

Everyone is right about the washer/dryer combo....we had one in a flat in Paris and after 3 hours, jeans still weren't dry. But lots of flats do only have washers. They will probably have a drying rack or a clothes line. I always bring clothes pins and extra hangers with me.

I have a pair of jeans that are a tad on the short side, so I don't put them in the dryer. I started paying attention, and they really are dry in less than 24 hours. So not having a dryer is not fatal. (Of course, when we were in Costa Rica, very thin swim suits when hung to dry did not dry in 48 hours!)

robjame Jan 12th, 2007 01:48 PM

Do you hang them around the apartment to dry(certainly not the balcony - which we don't have anyway.)
And what is a "green grocer"?

Christina Jan 12th, 2007 01:57 PM

A green grocer is a grocer who sells vegetables.

I don't put a lot of my clothes in the dryer for a full cycle at home, and generally hang jeans up to dry there, also, so they don't shrink or get worn out more (dryers and heat wear clothes out a lot). However, for something like jeans, I do put them in for about 10 minutes to get them a little dryer than straight from the washer. They dry in about a day in my house. I also put most of my things at home on those dryer racks. I guess the only things I really dry fully in the dryer are sheets, towels, and some underwear and socks.

Do I hang my jeans around my house to dry? Sort of, I have my dryer rack in my guest bedroom, but also dry pants by hanging them from pants clip hangers on the shower rod in the bathroom. I dry a lot of things by hanging them from hangers or pants hangers from the shower curtain rod.

happytotravel Jan 12th, 2007 02:04 PM

You can dry your clothes on the heated towel racks that are usually in the bathroom. Just remember to turn it on first. You can easily have at 1-2 outfits dry overnight. Stay ahead on the laundry, don't do it all at once.

Barb Jan 12th, 2007 02:07 PM

Sorry to hijack this thread, but Leely, what brand of washer/dryer combo do you have. I live in a condo where I can't vent a dryer and I am doing some research into buying one of those combos. I know they take a long time to cycle, but it's just me and I think I could put a load in every morning before I go to work, or before I got to bed. Better than running down to the laundry room with my quarters.

Leely Jan 12th, 2007 04:01 PM

Barb. I have an LG. My condo came with one--a foreign brand, can't recall which--but it broke and when I tried to get it repaired I couldn't find anyone who could fix it, so this time I just went with an American brand.

Since so much of my clothing is dry clean or hand wash, and I live alone, it's not an inconvenience for me. It beats the laundromat!

robjame Jan 12th, 2007 05:12 PM

Hi Leely - <<I have an LG. My condo came with one--a foreign brand, can't recall which--but it broke and when I tried to get it repaired I couldn't find anyone who could fix it, so this time I just went with an American brand.>>
I believe that LG IS a foreign brand, based in Korea if I am not mistaken

Leely Jan 12th, 2007 05:51 PM

Oh, robjame, I just <i>knew</i> I was going to make some blunder once I attempted to explain my logic (air quotes around logic). Maybe I meant/thought more local distributors. Whatever I had before, no one near me could fix.

Barb, I'm probably the last person anyojne should be asking about something remotely household-ish. But this new one seems better than the old one--I hope.

NeoPatrick Jan 12th, 2007 07:34 PM

The flat we rent in London had a combo washer-dryer. We'd run the dryer for two hours, then two more hours, then take the steamy stuff out and lay it around the apartment to finish drying. Last year the owners put in a brand new one. This one pretty well dries the clothes in about two hours. The only problem is, you can't open the door until 2 minutes after the dryer has stopped running. By that time your clothes are guaranteed to be so wrinkled from being wadded up in the steam that you HAVE to iron them if you want to wear them. I give up.

Scarlett Jan 12th, 2007 07:48 PM

Hi robjame!
Our apt was paid by credit card and the deposit was just credited back to the card.
It is super fast that way which we liked.

We had the best washer/dryer combo in the Paris apt. I could not figure out how to work the one in England lol
But the Paris combo did well, I want one for my next worked very well with none of the wrinkling Neo speaks of. Maybe ours was larger? or newer?

fishee Jan 12th, 2007 08:19 PM

I find this conversation a little confusing.

Did your mothers never hang clothes out to dry? Sheets and towels too -- you know, on a clothesline? Dryers consume so much energy, I thought most people hung at least some of their clothes out to dry.

cupid1 Jan 13th, 2007 12:11 AM

We use a credit card to secure deposits, as it allows rapid and easy refunds.

Fishee, I'd love to be able to hang sheets on a line in my (privacy-fenced) back yard. In the summer, with no humidity and 100+ temps things would dry almost instantly. I don't think I'm alone in living in an area that actually PROHIBITS drying laundry on a line outside the home, even if nobody can see it from the street!

Remember seeing a dozen pair of jeans hanging on a line outside an upper window in Spoleto in rainy mid-October and wondering how many days they'd have to hang there before they would dry.

That was a good tip to be sure to ask how to use the washer. A friend of mine has one of these and she hates it--confusing and takes forever.

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