Bizarre new real estate hoax claims a landlord installed a coin-operated "pay per flush" toilet

By Virginia K. Smith | January 6, 2017 - 12:15PM 

And we all thought that "shower in the kitchen" apartment was bad. A Melbourne-based renter took Reddit by storm this week with post from an account that has since been deleted posing the question, "Is it legal for my landlord to have installed a dollar coin operated flusher on my toilet?" (Short answer: no.)

The post continued:

"I'm in Melbourne, Thornbury. I understand in our laundry having to pay for the communal washing machine.

But I pay the water bill that goes into my apartment. He said it was a government incentive to save water. But then why does he get to collect the money? I see nothing on google about this so I can't work out if I'm being duped?"

He also posted a picture of the supposed contraption:

(Image via)

Seems crazy, right? What will these scamming landlords think of next?!?

The only problem is that the whole thing was a fake. Commenters on the post were quick to point out that the coin slots appeared to be photoshopped from common photos of washing machines (further explanation here), and with far too simple a hookup for such a complicated apparatus.

The original poster has since admitted the hoax in a separate thread, even posting a non-photoshopped photo of the toilet in question:

(Image via)

Not a lot of details are given—he's supposedly saving the rest for an appearance on documentarian Louis Theroux's show—but he does write: "Seriously people. Can we have a discussion about the current state of "news" media? Is clickbait really more important than the truth to those who people trust to inform us of current affairs?"

So the whole thing would seem to be some sort of trolling commentary on the state of fake news, or something. But given that Melbourne is one of the world's most expensive rental markets, we're not especially shocked that people were quick to believe a greedy landlord would stoop to these measures.

As for the New York market, we've got enough real scams—and apartments without any real bathrooms at all—to keep our minds occupied. No Reddit hoax required.


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