Pay as You Flush – Landlord Allegedly Installs Coin-Operated Toilet in Rented Apartment

An apartment tenant in Melbourne, Australia, has recently taken to Reddit to complain about his landlord installing a system that allegedly requires him to insert one dollar every time he wants to flush the toilet.

“Is it legal for my landlord to have installed a coin-operated flusher on my toilet?” the title of the tenants Reddit post reads. He goes on to explain that he understands having to pay for the communal washing machine when doing the laundry, but since he pays the water bill for the rented apartment, having to pay extra every time he needs to flush the toilet seems a bit much.

“He said it was a government incentive to save water. But then why does he get to collect the money?” the Redditor asks. “I see nothing on google about this so I can’t work out if I’m being duped?”

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The whole post seemed a little fishy to Reddit moderators who removed the tenant’s post for lack of evidence. After all, the idea of a coin-operated apartment toilet sounds ludicrous, and in a time when fake news is so popular, you can expect people to make up all sorts of things for five minutes of fame. But the guy actually posted a photo of his toilet with a strange-looking contraption on the side of the water tank, so the original thread was reactivated.

Reddit users were happy to provide all kinds of information, from the fact that installing such a system is illegal pretty much everywhere around the world, so he should be looking into suing the landlord, to useful tips on how to work around the coin-operated machine. He could, for example activate the flusher manually by simply removing the lid of the water basin, or just fill a bucket in the sink and pour the water in the toilet instead of flushing.

“The worst thing is not having any dollar coins on hand. Especially when I have guests over. It’s really embarrassing and gross for them,” the tenant wrote. He thanked the community for all the useful tips, adding that he has contacted a lawyer about the issue.

World's stingiest landlord installs a COIN OPERATED toilet that prevents tenants from flushing unless they insert a dollar (detroyon/imgur)

This all sounds too crazy to be true, and it probably is. Some Redditors wondered how the system actually worked, claiming that the machine shown in the photo could be anything. Also, the lack of complicated wiring required to make any coin-operated device function properly doesn’t show up in the picture.

“First of all, your picture shows a $2 coin machine and secondly there is no such thing as it is impossible to setup that sort of coin reader with a manual flush toilet.. Good try but epic fail… I’m not even going to go into detail on how your photo is obviously modified or photo shopped nor the fact there are multiple other inconsistencies with your story,” one person wrote.

Adding to the shadiness of this story is the fact that Australian website News.com.au” had gotten in touch with the tenant a few days ago, but has yet to hear back from them. If he was so eager to shame his landlord, I reckon he would at least reply via email and try to get as much exposure as possible. But he seems to have vanished soon after his post went viral.

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It sounds like an elaborate New Year’s hoax to me, but that has yet to be confirmed as well. Even if it is, though, at least it’s pretty original.


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Feedback (2 Comments)

  • john Posted on January 4, 2017

    It could be mechanical, it looks like the flushing lever/hamdle is pushed by the coin insert mechanism, you put the coins in and push in the coin mechanism and it in turn pushes the flush lever/handle. I could easily make this work mechanically.

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