RIDGE - A single working mother from Ridge is locked in a legal battle with her landlord over rent, saying her family's living conditions have become intolerable.

Amy Williams says she's been receiving assistance from Suffolk's Department of Social Services (DSS) to pay the $1,000 rent on her two-bedroom apartment in Ridge.

Williams says conditions there were fine when she first moved in back in July, but since then they have deteriorated. Two weeks ago, Brookhaven slapped the landlord, John Rasterger, with 10 tickets for violations of the town's building code, including lack of a rental permit.

Rasterger claims Williams owes him a total of $1,246 in rent, while the mother of two insists she owes her landlord only $233.

It is unclear why the county allowed Williams to rent an apartment from someone who had no rental permit from the town. However, a county DSS spokesman says according to state law, the rental permit doesn't matter so long as the accommodations are safe.

Williams and Rasterger are due back in court in two weeks.