Theft of power and water from washing machines in Germany
This might sound a little odd but it happened to a friend of mine and I can see no reason why it should not happen to you if you are not careful.
Water is always metered in Germany and the consumption of water and electricity by a washing machine is often the largest single item after heating on a family's utility bill.
Many apartment buildings have a communal laundry in which there will be a row of washing machines each of which is connected to its own metered supply of power and water. The power outlet is normally lockable and you should be given a key for your outlet with the rest of the keys for the apartment. Use it.
If you do not do this, you may find that your machine is being used to do the washing for others in your building and you could be hit with a large bill when the water and electricity meters are read.
It is very easy for somebody to just drop a load of clothes in when you are out at work or when you have gone back to the UK for the weekend.
You may think that this would not happen but the landlady who pulled this trick on a friend was a really sweet little old lady.
If you live in an apartment building where there is a communal laundry and no facility to lock your power outlet, you should be a little suspicious. Especially if the building's owner lives there. That can be a sign that while the facility might be communal, the bills might be all yours.