Recently a Boston landlord got nailed for $85,000 for not following the lead disclosure laws. In 2010, we saw the focus for EPA RRP training on contractors.
Will 2011 be the year the EPA and Mass DOS targets landlords?
Toward the end of the year we starting to receive calls from nervous landlords about the EPA RRP Lead Law. They were just learning about the new regulation. These property owners own multi-family housing and are afraid they will be in trouble if they are caught renovating without the required certification. They also fear losing rent from knowledgeable tenants seeking to play the system.
Most landlords and property owners are in the dark about the new EPA RRP Lead Rule. The lack of awareness is very similar to what we saw last spring when most contractors were caught off guard, not aware of the 4/22/2010 effective date.
In a recent post a landlord from the Worcester area was caught breaking the lead laws. Check out the Boston case from July.
Boston Landlord Faces Nearly $85K Penalty for Failure to Disclose Lead Paint to Tenants Release date: 07/20/2010
EPA Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, 617-918-1027
(Boston, Mass. – July 20, 2010) – A Boston landlord faces a penalty of $84,600 for charges by EPA that he violated federal lead paint disclosure rules at four of his apartments in Roxbury and Dorchester. These violations potentially put tenants at risk of exposure to lead hazards.
John C. Jones, who owns and manages at least eight properties with at least 19 rental units, is responsible for 14 violations of federal lead-based paint disclosure laws in four leases, according to EPA’s New England regional office. The four rental properties involved were in Roxbury (20 Woodville Street, 48 Edgewater Street, and 25 Southwood Street) and in Dorchester (176-180 Quincy Street).
According to EPA, Jones failed to provide tenants with lead hazard information pamphlets and with reports pertaining to lead-based paint/paint hazards; failed to include lead warning statements in leases; failed to include a disclosure statement regarding lead-based paint/paint hazards or lack of knowledge thereof in leases; and failed to include lists of records pertaining to lead-based paint/hazards in leases.
The federal Disclosure Rule is meant to ensure that tenants get adequate information about the risks associated with lead paint before signing a lease.
Infants and young children are especially vulnerable to lead paint exposure, which can cause developmental impairment, reading and learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, hyperactivity and behavioral problems. Adults with high lead levels can suffer difficulties during pregnancy, high blood pressure, nerve disorders, memory problems and muscle and joint pain.
"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. 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.
More information: Lead paint disclosure enforcement in New England
MASS RRP Training For Landlords In Worcester, Mass
If you are a landlord and have questions about what you need to do feel free to contact us. We have a scheduled EPA Mass DOS RRP Training on Saturday 1/15/2011 in Worcester, Mass for landlords and property owners. Link follows;