Landlord Faces Jail Time Over EPA Disclosures

 A Tampa-area landlord could face decades in prison after being charged with failing to provide lead paint disclosures to tenants and falsifying records.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa says it has filed a multi-count indictment, and if convicted, the landlord could face one year in federal prison for each failure to provide lead disclosures, and twenty years imprisonment for each of the falsification of records counts.

According to the indictment, the landlord, who owned and managed properties throughout St. Petersburg, “knowingly and willfully” failed to provide the prescribed lead paint hazard warning notices and federally approved lead paint hazard brochures to tenants.

Federal law and regulations require that for certain housing built prior to 1978, before a tenant is obligated under any lease, the landlord must provide the prospective tenant with various warning notices, including a lead warning statement, and obtain a statement by the tenant affirming the receipt of an EPA approved lead hazard information pamphlet. That pamphlet is designed to alert tenants to the dangers of lead paint and inform them about measures to reduce the risk of lead-based hazards.

The landlord is also accused of obstructing justice for making false records, including backdating and altering documents in an attempt to impede the investigation.

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