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Strangers Doing Laundry, a Child Molester, and a Few Live Grenades in Van Nuys

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Curbed Horror Stories are firsthand reader reports about terrible Los Angeles apartment experiences past and present. This week, in honor of Renters Week, we're having a rental horror story showdown. We'll post a few horror stories each day with a vote for the best on Thursday. The winner will advance to the national round of our network-wide contest (and the nationwide winner gets a free month's rent!).

I moved into my first apartment in Los Angeles after 3 months of living on a friend's couch. I found an adequate place in Van Nuys. It was a small studio apartment. I didn't want roommates, having lived on my own for sometime. It was in my price range (which wasn't very much) and close enough to my new job. The apartment turned into the horrors that parents talk about when they want to scare people from "going to live in the big city".

In the third month of living there, a large weapons cache found in a self storage building a block away from my building. The building was blocked off and we were told to say inside. Everybody was there. LAPD, Bomb squad, ATF and I think the FBI were all there! Turns out there were live grenades, AK74s, and much much more.

Then after four months of living there, the manager of the building, whom I had signed the lease with, suddenly moved out in the middle of the night. And the new manger was a strange man who was in his 50's. He was very creepy looking, like a child molester. (We'll call him CM for Creepy Manager)

Once CM took over the building, everything went to hell. Locks on the front gate were constantly broken. Drug deals happened in the open. Dog poop everywhere. There were random people, who were not tenants, would show up to do laundry and would get mad when I was doing MY laundry. A resident had gone off his meds and keyed several cars and smashed a couple of windows. Oh yeah and the roach problem. The CM blamed it on the build down the street that was demolished. I don't think so.

There was a lovely couple who lived in the unit next door. We shared a wall. The couple moved out after a few months as they were having a child. The new tenant was 20 something year old woman "who worked in the adult movie industry". Ok, fine, whatever. We all need to make ends meet, I get it. But then I would see guys coming and going from her unit. (Not to mention I could hear EVERYTHING coming through the walls) A couple of guys had wedding bands on. I put two and two together, she was a hooker! I went to the assistant manager and he said since he didn't see it and that she paid her rent in cash there wasn't anything that could be done. One night at like 2am there was a knock at the door. I didn't answer and they kept knocking. I finally got up answered the door. It was this kid about 17 with his buddies standing back a bit. He looked so frightened. I told him he had the wrong apartment and the friends hooted and hollered. They must have gotten him an appointment for his First Time. Shortly after that, she was kicked out for letting someone (one of her clients) in her parking spot. A big no-no.

Oh yeah, you know how I thought CM was a child molester. That because he IS a child molester. I was told he can be found on the Megan's Law, California Sex Offender Map. He was convicted of lewd acts with a minor male. Which made total sense since I would always see him with young looking teenage boys.

I have looked at California Sex Offender Map and it looks like there are 7 offenders that are living in that building. Isn't that just awesome! I moved out of that dump and it took me over 4 months to get my security deposit back. I have since moved into a very nice place in Burbank with my boyfriend. And we are very happy!
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