I get that dryers aren't strictly necessary, nor particularly environmentally friendly compared to just letting things dry on their own, but surely it makes no sense for tenants to buy washing machines?

Upon moving here in 2016, I was rather surprised by the washing machine setup in our block of flats. There's a shared room on the ground floor where everyone has their own washing machine and dryer, each machine hooked up to clearly marked water mains so no one ends up paying a cent more than they've washed.

Coming from Sweden and having lived in the UK for a decade, it's not a setup I've seen before. In Sweden you either have a machine in your flat, or use shared ones in the cellar of the building - just book a slot, pop your washing in, and you're off to the races. In the UK most people tended to have their own machines in their flats.

There were - and if I'm honest, are - two things I find odd about the setup in Luxembourg... let's get to 'em.

Fair is fair!

First, I do like that all the machines are in one place and not in the flat itself (less noisy), but it's beyond me why you'd need to keep track of exactly  how much water and electricity each flat is using to do their washing. Yes, some will wash more than others, but to go through the rigmarole of setting everyone up with their own individually monitored tap seems.. excessive.

That's more of an observation than a concern, though - but I do have a concern as well, which leads us to the second oddity.

Why on earth did I have to buy a washing machine?

In neither Sweden nor the UK do tenants typically have to buy their own washing machine when renting a flat or other home. Even unfurnished flats will come with the basics - oven, microwave, fridge, freezer, and, if you're lucky, dishwasher and kettle.

It just doesn't make sense for a tenant on a short-term lease to buy their own white goods. It's quite an expense, for one, but it also makes moving far more cumbersome than it needs to be. We had ours delivered and installed, as most would, but we'll have to deal with the whole thing ourselves when we move on. Luckily our next move is into a home we own, which means it'll only happen once, but moving from one rented property to another isn't uncommon - and I can only imagine how much of a drag it would be having to deal with washing machines on top of everything else.

It's a bit like having to provide your own tyres when you rent a car. Nonsensical.

For the conspiratorily minded

You might excuse those prone to finding conspiracies around every corner for thinking this is one. It seems to me that making tenants buy their own washing machines is yet another factor that disincentivices tenants moving from one flat to another; and Luxembourg already has quite a few stumbling blocks set up for tenants in that regard.

You will be familiar with the main one: the ridiculous expense involved. I've banged this drum more than once already, but Luxembourg seems perfectly set up to look after landlords over tenants. From the fact that rents are ridiculously high, to the fact that tenants not only have to pay a typical 3 months' rent in advance and 1 month's rent in agency fees (I've said it before, and will again: landlords should pay this), there's a huge cost to moving in Luxembourg as a tenant.

The fact that you have to lug around a heavy washing machine and (likely) get someone to set it up for you certainly doesn't make it any easier. Not saying this is a deliberate move to keep people where they are, but it's another frustrating obstacle.