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Lead Poison and Typical Landlord

Posted by SnA on March 02, 1999 at 08:58:37:

Please read the following page from a Landlords website and decide for yourself that:
1) Does this landlord seem to have any regards for a human life?
2) Doesn't he seem like he wants to leave the thing the way are?
3) How many innocent children did he intend to kill or cripple before he removes Lead-paint?
4) What is he really worried about?
5) If wasn't for the Gov., was he ever going to cleanup the neuro-toxin from his property?
6) Doesn't he sound like typical NY landlord?

Following is quotation in its entirety from a LANLORDS website.

Laws and Land Mines

[ Lead Paint Hazard ] [ Mandatory Dead Bolt Locks ]

Lead Paint Now What's Next?

Remember when the smoking ban started with only those 30 min. domestic flights? Just
look at where the smoking issue has progressed to now. Good, bad, who knows? One
thing's for sure, just like the camel, once the nose of government is under the tent....

Effective December 1996 most all residential rental owners are required by law, to
provide new residents with a federally approved brochure ( paid for at landlord
expense) disclosing the danger of lead poisoning for persons exposed to lead based
paint. The federal government has determined this danger to be particularly hazardous
to children which "lead" to the ban of lead based paint in 1978.

The lead law can be particularly tricky as to who should or must receive a brochure. The law is clear that
any incoming residential tenant is due the disclosure brochure prior to signing the rental agreement, for
dwellings built prior to 1978, however there are several gray areas as to who else should sign for a

What about existing tenants who invite a "guest(s)" to stay in the rental for an extended period of time?
How long of a stay before disclosure is mandatory? What about new unexpected room mates who move
in after the initial disclosure? What if the guest(s) are minors? What if they're adults? Disclose and
provide the brochure, yes? no? Sometimes, always?

What about tenants in possession prior to the brochure requirement who then have children after
December 1996? Provide the booklet? Disclose? Yes? No?

If your tenants child tests positive with high lead levels, did the exposure occur at your rental, the
previous rental, just where? When carving up who pays, how can you stay out of reach of the litigators?
How or can you test prospective residents prior to tenancy? Lead glazed pottery is commonly used for
cooking in many areas of the world where lead levels in children are dangerously high.

Once a tenant purchases an inexpensive "lead test kit" from the hardware store and claims the presence
of lead, then what? Expensive and elaborate testing? Abatement? Is the presence of lead a "habitability"
issue and a valid rent abatement defense? And just how do you rent to the next tenant while disclosing the
"positive" lead test results?

Will the lead poison hazard spread to the obvious, lead solder in copper pipes, a potentially greater
hazard? Just how does one "encapsulate" the lead solder inside the plumbing? Or how does one avoid
drinking the water from copper (possibly lead soldered) pipes?

Tenants (or residents) are but one exposure. Do you hire workman who may disturb deep layers of
(lead) paint? Does your plumber work directly with your old lead solder pipes while completing
plumbing repairs? Keeping clear of liability exposure from vendors is yet another risk on the sure to grow
list of potential "victims" who could cost you money. Are you sure your liability insurance covers
"environmental hazards" such as lead poisoning claimed by residents and vendors?

As with any new law or regulation there is usually a period of dust settling where there seems to be more
questions than there are answers. A qualified property manager, such as STEVE THOMAS , of SCT
Properties is more likely to be aware of industry regulations and the current industry standards necessary
to steer clear of trouble. For more information on lead disclosure and the mandatory booklet contact HUD
directly at:


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Disclaimer: The information contained herein is provide as the opinion of the author and constitutes neither legal advice or a guarantee. The reader
is encouraged to seek competent professional advice particular to their situation.

Copyright 1998 SCT Properties
Modified 32998SCT

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