October 16, 2015
EPA Fines Property Manager For Lead Based Paint Violations
According to an EPA article released 8/24/2015 a Realty/Property Management company must pay a penalty for violation of federal Toxic Substances Control Act and the Real Estate Notification and Disclosure Rule.
The company is required to pay a $4,250 penalty and spend at least $38,255 to remove lead-based paint at its properties for failing to provide tenant’s information about the potential presence of lead-based paint before leasing.
The violation is part of the EPA’s Lead Residential Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Program which under federal law requires it buyers and renters of housing built prior to 1978 receive information about lead and lead hazards in the residence before buying or renting. It also provides the opportunity for buyers to get an independent lead inspection.
Property managers are faced with a challenge of making sure hazardous materials are managed properly and all laws and regulations are followed. Despite their best efforts – things can fall through the cracks.
California children who become sick with an environmental illness are most frequently diagnosed with lead poisoning.
Because lead is easily mined, flexible, and resistant to corrosion, it is an extremely popular element for the manufacture of pipes, paint, ceramics, vinyl, and even cosmetic products. As with asbestos, long-term exposure to lead is toxic, and regulations are in place banning the use of lead in these common products.
One regulation is the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, or Title X, which is a federal law established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This law requires anyone selling a house built prior to 1978 to disclose to the buyer all instances of lead-based paint or other lead products in the house, to provide an educational brochure created by the EPA, and allow the buyer 10 days to have the house tested for lead before closing on the house. This law also applies to anyone renting a property built prior to 1978. Vacation rental properties, foreclosed properties, and properties that were previously inspected and deemed free from lead-based paint are not included in this regulation.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) mandated that anyone providing services for lead hazard evaluations, lead abatement plan preparation and work, and lead clearance inspections for residential and public buildings must be certified to complete these services.
To learn more about Lead Based Paint and how it can affect your property managers download our lead paint guide.