Sewage, waste fill tubs, toilets at Bay St. Louis rentals | Biloxi Sun Herald Stinky feces floods sinks, tubs at Coast apartments. Why did it take days to repair?

Hancock County

By Anita Lee


Tenants at two apartments in Bay Crossings Apartments in Hancock County couldn’t bathe, cook or use their toilets for four days because their toilets and bathtubs were backed up with sewage that left a putrid odor permeating their living space.

“It’s disgusting,” Alexandria Nguyen, whose mother is a tenant, said Tuesday afternoon. “We’re just calling and emailing and getting zero responses.”

Tenants said the problems started Friday night and were not resolved until Tuesday night, after Nguyen wrote a scathing public Facebook post that has been shared 29 times, and included graphic photos in the comments of the bathtubs and toilets with sewage floating in them.

The apartment’s property manager, Jamillah Shamsideen, said she did not learn about the backups until after hours Saturday night from the couple with the original backup, Sabrina and John Robert Dixon. She said that’s when the Dixons put in a work order to fix the problems and that all their work orders are tracked.

Sabrina Dixon said she filled out a work order after her toilet started bubbling Friday night and put in more work orders Saturday.

Sewage, waste fill tubs, toilets at Bay St. Louis rentals | Biloxi Sun Herald Stinky feces floods sinks, tubs at Coast apartments. Why did it take days to repair?

Nguyen’s mother Trinnae Flood, a preschool teacher and director, said Tuesday afternoon that her apartment was unlivable and she was moving in with her daughter that night. Flood said she was already planning to leave when her lease was up at the end of December because she waited more than a month this summer for a refrigerator when hers broke down.

Flood had lived in the complex more than 15 years without problems. A new company, Michigan-based Beztak Properties, took over management in December and Shamsideen said she started her job at Bay Crossings in June.

Flood’s neighbors, the Dixons, might not be able to move, although they said that they wanted to. They are living at Bay Crossings with a HUD voucher. HUD inspected their apartment Wednesday morning, after a plumber finally fixed the problem Tuesday evening, and said it was safe for them to stay.

Shamsideen acknowledges a plumber did not come to inspect the backup until Tuesday evening. She said the maintenance man first tired to unclog the lines with solvent and bleach. The septic system also was inspected before a plumber finally came, Nguyen said.

Wednesday morning, Shamsideen said cleaners are coming in to sanitize the apartments, particularly the bathrooms

“Sometimes, you can’t just say, ‘We’ll fix it,’ “ Shamsideen said. “We have to figure out what needs to be fixed. It’s a process.”

What caused the backup? The plumber discovered someone had stuffed rocks into a return valve on the outside of the apartment building in question, Shamsideen said. She said she does not plan to file a police report because she has no idea who is responsible.

While they were waiting to see if a plumber would show up Tuesday evening, Flood told the Sun Herald: “It’s like, what do you do? I was going to be here until the end of the month. That’s why I paid my rent. I’ve got to leave. I can’t stay in that.”

Beztak started reaching out to Nguyen late Tuesday afternoon, after she published her Facebook post, according to text messages she shared with the Sun Herald.

A corporate representative has agreed to refund her mother’s December rent and her security deposit, Nguyen said, but a spokesman for Beztak was not immediately available to confirm that information.

Anita Lee