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									Lead Hazard Disclosure
  Protecting the Public’s
   Right to Know About
       Lead Hazards
    In Rental Housing
Goals of this Presentation:
1) Background information on childhood
   lead poisoning
2) Overview of the federal lead hazard
   disclosure law
3) Tenant rights under disclosure
4) Disclosure as a tool for controlling lead
Goal #1:

Background Information on
Childhood Lead Poisoning
Effects of Lead Exposure

 High Levels:
 •   Coma
 •   Convulsions
 •   Death

  High levels rare in the United States
 Effects of Lead Exposure
Low/Moderate Levels:
• Reduced IQ
• Reading and learning disabilities
• Behavior problems
• Impaired growth
• Hearing Loss

Chronic low level exposure is the primary
problem in the United States
Children Are Particularly
• Rapidly developing nervous systems
• Hand-to-mouth behavior
• High absorption rate
Sources of Lead Exposure
•   Lead-based paint
•   Dust
•   Soil
•   Plumbing pipes, fixtures, solders
•   Industrial point sources
•   Ceramics and crystal
•   Hobbies and occupations
•   Home remedies and cosmetics
•   Gasoline
 “Lead-based paint and paint
contaminated dust account for
 most cases of childhood lead
      poisoning today.”
  Source: CDC, Strategic Plan for the Elimination Of
  Childhood Lead Poisoning, 1991.
Major Exposure Pathways
• Lead-based paint deteriorates or is
  disturbed by renovation or repainting
• Lead contaminated bare residential soil
• Lead dust or paint chips ingested or
  inhaled - especially by young children
  through hand-to-mouth behavior
• Ingestion of settled dust is the most
  common way children are poisoned
Poorly Maintained Housing Is
the Problem…
Lead-based paint is a hazard when it:

• Deteriorates from age and weather;
• Wears off friction surfaces, such as
  binding doors or windows;
• Deteriorates due to moisture (e.g., leaking
  pipes and roofs); or
• Is disturbed using unsafe work practices.
Prevention Is the Answer
• Lead poisoning is entirely preventable.
• No medical cure.

►Prevention requires making housing lead-
 safe before a child is poisoned.
 Goal #2:

Overview of the Federal Lead
Hazard Disclosure Rule
Benefits of the Federal Lead
Hazard Disclosure Law

•Gives tenants the “right to know” if lead-
 based paint or lead-based paint hazards
 exist before they sign a lease
•Allows tenants to make informed decisions
•May influence owners to make properties
 Disclosure Does Not…
• Require testing for lead-based paint
• Require owners to control lead-based paint
• Relieve property owners of liability
• Relieve owners of the legal duty to
  provide a safe and sanitary dwelling
  Transactions that Trigger
All real estate transactions involving most
 pre-1978 housing at the time consumers:
• Rent a home
• Renew an existing lease
• Sublet a home
• Buy a home

Oral leases are not exempt
Some Exceptions to the Rule
• Zero bedroom dwellings
• Housing for elderly or disabled
• Property certified “lead-based paint free”
• Property leased for 100 days or less
• Renewal of leases where disclosure has already
  occurred and no new information is available
 Disclosure Requirements in
 Rental Property
An owner must:
• Provide EPA pamphlet.
• Disclose known lead-based paint or lead-based paint
  hazards and provide copies of existing reports.
• Tenants will be asked to complete an
  acknowledgement statement, which includes a lead
  warning statement, that the owner must keep for 3
  years from start of the lease.
Lead-Based Paint Information
Subject to Disclosure

• Any information about the specific
  apartment being rented
• Information about common areas
• Information on other units tested as part of
  evaluation of entire property
Types of Information the Owner
Must Provide to Tenants
Any information in their possession or
 “reasonably obtainable” including:
• Copies of existing reports (or summaries)
• All prior test results
• Any other first-hand information, even if written
  reports are not available
When Should Tenants Be Told
About Lead-Based Paint and
Lead-Based Paint Hazards?
•Before they sign a lease or make a non-refundable
•Before they renew an existing lease.
•Before any major changes are made to an open-
ended, month-to-month lease.
Goal #3:

Tenant Rights Under Disclosure
What Tenants Have the Right To
Do Before Signing a Lease
• Receive and read the EPA pamphlet
• Receive and review all tests and reports
• If lead-based paint is present, ask the owner what
 is being done to control lead hazards
• Read the lead warning acknowledgement
 statement carefully
• Review the lease carefully (if you have any
 questions, seek legal advice)
What If the Landlord Doesn’t
I. EPA/HUD Enforcement Actions
  A. Civil penalties (fines)
  B. Administrative orders
  C. Injunctions
  D. Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs)
  E. Child Health Improvement Projects (CHIPs)
  F. Criminal actions
 What If the Landlord Doesn’t
 Disclose? (cont’d)
II. Private Actions

  A. Damages (including three times actual
     damages for willful violations)
  B. Injunctions (as part of damage actions)
Enforcement Results
• More than $22 million spent on lead
  hazard control
• More than 165,000 units made lead-safe
• Over $360,000 provided for childhood
  lead poisoning prevention projects.
Landlords May Not:
• Withhold information
• Place a waiver in the lease to relieve
  themselves of liability.
• Refuse to rent to families with children

(If you have any questions or concerns,
  seek legal advice.)
Reporting Disclosure Violations
to Federal Agencies

• Call the National Lead Information
• Call the Regional EPA Office.
Types of Information to Provide
when Reporting Violations

 • Property type, age, and condition.
 • Owner/manager name and contact
 • Specifics of violation, including a copy
   of the lease.
Goal #4:

Disclosure As a Tool for
Controlling Lead Hazards
Disclosure Provides an
Opportunity for Tenants
to Take an Active Role
  in Preventing Lead
What Tenants Should Do Before
Moving In

• Do a complete move-in visual inspection
• Check paint for signs of deterioration
• Check for signs of water damage
• Make sure there is no visible dust
Report Hazardous Conditions
Landlord or Local Agency

• Flaking or peeling paint
• Binding doors or windows
• Water damage
• Unsafe work practices taking place in
  their unit or in common areas
What Tenants Should Never Do
• Their own repairs
• Allow unsafe repairs to be made:
  -- Open flame burning or torching
  -- Dry sanding or scraping
  -- Abrasive blasting
  -- Power washing

Tenants have the right to stop unsafe work
 practices in their unit or in common areas
What Parents Can Do
• Avoid damaging painted surfaces
• Clean floors and window sills regularly with
  water and detergent
• Wash children’s hands and toys frequently
• Teach children to keep non-food items out of
  their mouths
• Have children tested for lead poisoning
• Provide a well-balanced diet, low in fat and high
  in iron and calcium
For Additional Information

National Lead Information Center

    • Phone: 1-800-424-LEAD [5323]
    • Fax:          585-232-3111
    • E-mail and online document requests:

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