Tenant says complex removed stairs while he’s inside his second floor apartment

@phoenixagent003/TikTok zephyr_p/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘The only way out of this apartment’: Tenant says complex removed stairs while he’s inside his second floor apartment

‘Sounds like someone is playing the Sims with your life.’


Charlotte Colombo


A tenant says he was left stranded in his second-floor apartment after his apartment complex removed the stairs. Panning the camera out of a window, where construction work appeared to be going on, TikToker Elijah Menchaca (@phoenixagent003) exclaimed, “I have no stairs!”

“So apparently, my apartment complex decided to replace our stairs—which were, like, falling apart and did need to be replaced, so good,” he said. “But we received maybe 24 hours’ notice via a single email that only my roommate got.” He continued to say he woke up to construction noises outside, and when he looked out the window, the stairs were gone. “They took the stairs,” he repeated.

“Those stairs are the only way out of this apartment by conventional means,” he added. “I’m only on the second floor, so like, maybe I could climb down with a rope or brave jump into the bushes. But even if I did that, I would be leaving my roommate’s cat stranded and alone with no one to feed her. So what I’m saying is like, they better fix the stairs quickly, or I’m going to be upset.”

Is this allowed?

The clip was viewed by 502,400 people, and it’s safe to say that viewers were shocked. “I think that’s illegal?” one asked, while another was adamant that for repairs like this, tenants need at least a week’s notice.

@phoenixagent003 They took my stairs with barely a warning. #trapped #stranded #apartmentproblems #cat ♬ original sound – Elijah Menchaca

Numerous commenters also claimed that a building needs at least two exits at all times, while another added that this was a “fire code issue.” Indeed, according to the National Fire Code Association, every building must have at least two means of emergency exit—which doesn’t bode well for Menchaca’s apartment complex if his claims are true.

Did he ever get the stairs back?

Fortunately, in a follow-up video posted later that day, Menchaca said that the stairs had been replaced. Still, he told viewers that he remained unimpressed by this chain of events, noting there was “no contingency for if something went wrong.”

“There was a period where, like, I didn’t know if they went to get supplies or something or was on their lunch break,” he continued. “But there was a hot minute where they were gone … so I was just actually trapped.

This isn’t the first time a tenant had to deal with disappearing stairs. In July 2023, Florida-based TikToker @ainhere4 went viral after showing how, before he left for his shift, the stairs were there, but upon his return, they were gone. “How are these people going to get in the house?” he asked.

The Daily Dot reached out to Menchaca via email and TikTok comment for more information.

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