Recently, a user’s clip on TikTok went viral after they accused an apartment complex of staging “fake fun” in the building to make apartments appear occupied.
While this was simply a theory, another user has now sparked discussion after alleging that he discovered a similar issue in his apartment building.
In a stitch with over 5 million views, TikTok user Cody (@atlcody) says the apartment complex he lives in is “abandoned.”
“They say the property is fully, 100% booked to capacity, but I am, in fact, the only person that resides there,” Cody says.
@atlcody #stitch with @chefshortydc @Cody #atlcody #menugate ♬ original sound – Cody
Cody then refers viewers to a series of videos documenting how he discovered this. In the first video, he notes that a restaurant came through the building and put Chinese food menus into each door. After several days, most menus were still tucked into the doors.
@atlcody #sketchy #sketchytiktok #scary #mistery #atlcody #apartment #lies #MMKx007 ♬ original sound – Cody
The series is full of curious incidents, such as never seeing anyone else in the building, having a parking garage with more cars than should be living on a floor, and in one case, having a fire alarm pulled and only seeing three people evacuate the building.
Despite this, the complex claims it only has four apartments available to be rented.
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. An article from January for Curbed documented the author’s experience discovering that she was one of only a few people in the building, later stumbling into an empty apartment after a floor mix-up.
“…After living there a couple months, I began to get suspicious,” writes author Lane Brown. “I was the only person in the gym most mornings. And there was surprisingly little competition for washing machines in the laundry room. There were more than 500 units in my building — were all of my neighbors sedentary nudists?”
In the comments sections of these videos, users laid out a variety of theories as to why this might be the case.
“Explanation: companies that own a large amount of real estate in a certain area will leave units empty to drive up rent for the other units,” a user wrote.
This is a known practice called “warehousing.” For example, housing advocates have accused New York City landlords of keeping rent-stabilized apartments empty in order to drive up prices for non-stabilized apartments.
“I think they’re probably corporate rentals. So no one is in there, but they’re ‘occupied’ by some company that occasionally puts people up in there,” suggested a second.
Others simply voiced their frustration after seeing a large amount of empty apartments.
“I’m living with my parents at 38,” said a commenter. “The idea of rentals just sitting there completely empty, makes me want to absolutely break down sobbing and screamin.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Cody via Instagram direct message.