EPA Slaps Another Landlord With Eighty Thousand Dollar Fine

Landlord Believed Property Was Lead-Free

landlord helpFollowing a case two months ago where a Massachusetts landlord was fined $84,600, the EPA’s New England division has just fined another area landord $83,575 for similar lead paint disclosure violations

The Springfield, Massachusetts apartment complex owner and landlord faces the penalty for charges that he violated federal lead paint disclosure rules at his apartment complex in Springfield.

He was charged with failing to provide tenants with lead hazard information pamphlets, include lead warning statements in leases, omitting a disclosure statement regarding lead-based paint hazards in leases, and including lists of records or reports pertaining to lead-based paint hazards in leases.

At an EPA inspection two years ago, the landlord admitted that he had not provided any lead disclosure information to tenants because he believed the property was lead-free. Lead-based paint was found at the property.

The federal disclosure rule is meant to ensure that tenants get adequate information about the risks associated with lead paint before signing a lease.

“Here in New England exposure to lead paint is a serious public health concern for kids, because so much of our housing was built before 1978 when lead paint was banned,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “By providing the required lead paint notification to renters, landlords help prevent lead poisoning because then families are aware of potential lead hazards in homes and they can make informed decisions.”

Federal law requires that property owners, property managers and real estate agents leasing or selling housing built before 1978 provide certain information to tenants and buyers, including: an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet, called Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home; a lead warning statement; statements disclosing any known lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards; and copies of all available records or reports regarding lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards. This information must be provided to tenants and buyers before they enter into leases or purchase and sales agreements. Property owners, property managers and real estate agents equally share responsibility for providing lead disclosure information and must keep copies of records regarding lead disclosures for three years.

Recent amendments to the lead paint rules also include a requirement that all remodeling and repair work done on pre-1978 rental properties must be performed by landlords or contractors certified by the EPA. The deadline to sign up for certification classes is September 30, 2010.

For more, see September 30 Deadline for Lead Paint Certification.

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