QUEENS, N.Y. - Leon Martin says for five years and counting he and his partner Babe Parker have been locked in a battle with their landlord over the mold he noticed growing in his apartment at 3002 30th Street in Astoria.
"We had been ill for a long time, I'd been to several doctors, gastroenterologists, I've had my face swollen," Martin said.
"Yesterday I had to go to the ER because my hands and feet were so numb and I was having shooting pains in my arm and I think it's related to nerve damage that's what I was told," Parker added.
The couple shared with NY1 photos of the swelling Martin suffered and the mold they say caused it.
"We haven't been able to stay here, we're dizzy, we're sick, we're vomiting," Martin said.
But, Martin and Parker says it's been a challenge to convince their landlord Partridge Realty that mold is even present.
"My landlord has assured me that we don't have a problem, we don't have a leak, there's no mold," Martin said.
But after years of suspicion and complaints, some action.
"The landlord did their own test and it came back as zero levels," Martin said.
The couple says they ordered their own inspection with very different results.
"We ordered our own tests for which is the most deadly, toxic black mold. If it's above 50, that's a level that's dangerous and our levels came back as 1480," Martin noted.
The couple is now staying in hotels, angry at the discrepancy between those two tests and at a landlord they say hasn't taken their safety seriously.
"If we didn't get our own test, we'd still be living in deadly toxic mold and that's what they expect us to still be doing and they're not helping us find a way out or helping compensate our situation," Parker said.
The ordeal, they say, is taking a toll with no end in sight.
"This is the holiday season and I can't be home right now and it's really awful," Parker said.
"One day we live in a hotel, we can't afford to live there the next day. It's tough day to day staying in a new place," Martin said.
The couple tells us NY1 the landlord has since tried to make arrangements with them to try to remediate some of the mold issues in the apartment. They say even that process has been slow, and that the mold still remains.
NY1 reached out to Partridge Reality for their side in all of this. So far, we have not heard back.