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Man says family is being forced to live in mold-infested apartment

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- No water, a massive hole in the living room floor and mold that’s making him sick – that’s what one renter says he’s been living with at his North Memphis apartment complex.

Lamanuel Leach said he and his family have been moved from one unit to another at the Crockett Place Apartments on Crockett Place, but the issues aren’t being fixed.

His problems began two weeks ago when he said he woke up to his kitchen flooded.

"My kitchen was full of water," Leach said.

It turned out, a pipe had burst.

He said his landlord pulled out the sink and tore up the flooring in his living room, leaving a gaping hole, and his family with no water.

"It’s hard. I was living out of my bedroom," Leach said. "I bought bottled water to keep feeding my baby."

Leach said he and his family had to live in that apartment with a huge hole in the floor filled with water for an entire week before being moved to a different unit.

His daughter even had to celebrate her first birthday confined to her bedroom so she wouldn’t fall into the hole and get hurt, Leach said.

"Just the idea of her turning one and having to be here. It shouldn’t happen like that," he said. "No one should have to live like this."

But the other apartment, he said, isn’t much better. There’s mold in the cabinets, which Leach insists is making him and his daughter sick.

"You can smell the mold from being in here. You don’t have to see it to smell it," he said.

Leach had to check into the emergency room a couple of days ago, and tells WREG doctors said the cause was likely the mold in his apartment.

"To move from one place to a moldy place, I’m still jeopardizing my life and my family’s life," he said.

Another renter, who didn't want his name used, told WREG he’s dealing with the same thing.

"Look at all that mold," he said. "You’ll die. That’ll kill you."

WREG was confronted by the property manager Sunday, who didn’t want to do an interview, but said she didn’t know about Leach’s problems with the new apartment.

"When we found out we couldn’t get the pipe repaired in a timely, we moved this gentleman down here," she said.

“But this apartment has mold in it," we told her.

“Which one? This one?” she asked.

“This one that he’s in now. We saw it," we said.

“Ok, well he didn’t let me know that there was mold in the unit. If there was, we would have addressed it," she said.

But Leach said he did tell her, and even showed her pictures and videos, and nothing was done.

In the meantime, he just wants a decent place for his family to call home.

"Just want somewhere comfortable where I can actually live and be safe," he said.

The property manager added that the apartments are old, and they they try to fix problems when they know about them.

"These are old buildings, okay? I try to do the best that I can. We all do, alright?"' she said. "When something goes wrong, we try to get somebody to come and fix it."

Leach said he tried to contact the city’s code enforcement department, but hasn’t been able to get in touch with anyone.