Valley Village

‘Smells Like Crap': Renters Sent ‘No Toilet Paper' Notice Following Sewer Backup

The apartment manager insists that excessive use of toilet paper is the cause of the plumbing problem

Renters at a Valley Village apartment complex are dealing with a smelly mess these days and they say management is doing nothing to fix the problem.

Tenants are blaming the old plumbing in a 1950s apartment building, but the apartment manager is blaming tenants' excessive use of toilet paper. The manager sent a notice telling renters not to flush toilet paper down the toilet.

Chad Meisenheimer shared photos and video with NBC4 showing raw sewage filling his toilet and bathtub.

"This is the second time in less than 3 months this has happened," he said.

He lives at the Burbank Pointe apartments in Valley Village where a one bedroom unit rents for about $1700 per month.

Meisenheimer says the latest sewage backup happened on Saturday. As of Tuesday, he's still living with the aftermath.

"It still smells. No matter how much bleach I put on the floor, it still smells like crap. It still smells like raw sewage and now there's gnats," Meisenheimer said.

What bothers him just as much as the raw sewage in his apartment is the management's response.

Maintenance workers were supposed to assess the situation on Monday, but no one showed up, he said. Instead, tenants found notices on their doors "saying we shouldn't be flushing toilet paper down the toilet," Meisenheimer said.

The notice states the tenants will have to pay if there's another sewage problem and in bold capital letters states: "DON'T THROW TOILET PAPER IN THE TOILET."

At first, Meisenheimer thought the letter from Burbank Pointe apartments was a joke.

"What do they want us to do? Bag it? Throw it in the garbage?" he asked.

Meisenheimer says his fellow tenants are afraid of being evicted if they speak out and affordable housing is tough to find in Los Angeles.

"It's just getting pricier and pricier so people stick with it. We'll have these problems just to have a roof over our head."

NBC4 spoke with the apartment manager by phone and she insists that excessive use of toilet paper is the cause of the plumbing problem. She added that any tenants who asked about the no toilet paper notice were told to use only small amounts.

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