Couple Fights for Belongings After Sewage Flood

HOLLADAY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - Thomas and Amanda Plustwik have been fighting to get their stuff back after more than 800 gallons of sewage flooded their basement apartment. The majority of it is destroyed, but they need to get some items. They claim issues with the landlord and cleaning company who was called in have prevented them from getting it back.

The couple was on vacation back on November 15th when they got a call from their landlord about an issue. Once inside they say the sewage was about six inches deep, and smelled terrible.

" It was dish water, bath water, toilet water, and everything else you can think about," said Thomas.

Thomas believes the backup was caused by an unmaintainted pipe that has had issues in the past. While they thought cleanup would take a couple of days they didn't think it would take this long.

"We expected with would be taken care of and here we are three days before Christmas," said Thomas.

They claim the frustration has come in dealing with their landlord and the cleanup company who was called in.

During the cleanup their belongings were put into black bags including critical documents. The couple says those bags were put into the back of a trailer to be stored, but the owner of the company was asking for money to get them back.

Eventually Thomas said they got a call to come get their stuff and the lock was taken off. There were still problems.

"So we came back here to see an unlocked trailer, and it happened to be it had been ransacked," said Thomas.

The trailer was also backed up against a tree and the door can barely open. There is a warning not to get into the trailer if it isn't on a truck because it could tip over.

The couple has since had to put on their own lock and haven't been able to get a hold of the owner. Amanda said now almost nothing will be salvageable.

"Because it's been sitting in here for a month anything that could have been cleaned or sanitized it can't be now because it's growing (bacteria) in black bags," said Amanda.

We did try to contact the owner of the cleaning company, but he didn't return our calls.

The landlord did talk with us on the phone briefly and said the issue was being handled by her insurance company. She wouldn't give out a contact for her agent or answer questions about what happened.

Thomas and Amanda said they never signed a lease for the property and the landlord said she preferred not to have leases. They also didn't have rental insurance.

ABC 4 did contact a rental attorney who said if a property is not upkept properly a landlord can be forced to pay for lost property. Although they point out it's on a case by case basis.

The Salt Lake County Health Department confirmed their is an open investigation on the property for substandard housing which began on November 16th. They say people can go into the house, but no one can live their.






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