I am a tenant in common with my ex-spouse. He is the only name on mortgage. The divorce decree states his responsibilities for full mortgage payments and maintenance. I have complained for 8 years about the severe mold. He only primed the walls! How can I make him take me serious? Our child sneezes often. Rather than go back to divorce court, could I contact my city health department to come out to take samples since a child lives here?
Mold can be a serious health issue. Get into court ASAP to enforce the terms of your judgment and get the health inspector out there to ascertain the extent of the problem and what must be done to correct it. Priming the walls does not correct a mold problem. Although not all molds are a serious danger, some make a home uninhabitable until the mold is treated. You may not be able to afford a lawyer, but if your ex is in violation of your Judgment and is found in contempt of court, he will be required to pay your attorney's fees. Go speak to one or more lawyers and hire one who knows how to go after your ex for fees as well as enforce the terms of your Judgment.
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I do not practice landlord-tenant law, but question why going back to enforce the judgment would not be the better option. If he is responsible for all maintenance and the property is not being maintained and you can prove it (you will need to prove it) an enforcement proceeding would at least give you the opportunity to recover your legal fees. As to whether you can contact the health department, I'm sure you can as long as you can find a phone number -- whether they do anything about it is a different question. You're still part owner as well and I'd suggest asking a real estate or landlord-tenant lawyer about the possible impact of such a report on you as an owner.
I would be cautious about contacting the inspection department, since you are an owner as well. If violations are found, you may be on the hook for them as well. Since your divorce decree makes your former spouse responsible, you may be able to eventually foist that onto him, but that seems a long, risky road. I would suggest that you contact your divorce attorney for assistance in enforcing the already existing terms of your decree.
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