Landlord Faces Fine of $85,000

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is suing a landlord in Boston for his alleged failure to distribute lead paint pamphlets to his tenants.   The landlord faces fine of over $85,000.  

The landlord faces fine and is accused of 14 violations of federal lead-based paint disclosure laws in four of his 19 leases, according to EPA’s New England regional office.  The EPA claims the landlord 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 agreement.

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.   The EPA recently passed additional regulations that apply to the remodeling of rental properties built before 1978 – the year the government banned the use of lead paints.  Landlords, property managers, or contractors who plan to perform remodeling work on these properties must take courses and become certified in lead paint removal regulations before performing any work.  Those interested in certification training must register for classes by September 30, 2010 and complete the coursework by December 30, 2010.  Building owners will need to document compliance with the new rules for each building project completed.

This post is provided by Landlord Tenant Rights to help landlords and property managers reduce the risks of rental income loss. Landlord Tenant Rights provides articles on Reporting Tenant Rent Pay and Tenant Screening to ensure the necessary information is readily available to all Landlord & Tenants.

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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