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Two Connecticut Landlords Face Fines for Failing to Warn Tenants about Lead Paint

Release Date: 10/09/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. - Oct. 9, 2009) - Two Connecticut landlords face fines for allegedly violating federal lead-based paint disclosure requirements. These violations potentially put tenants at risk of exposure to lead hazards.

Michael Perugini owns 64 housing units in Connecticut. An EPA inspection in May 2008 discovered that Mr. Perugini had not provided lead disclosure information to tenants in five Bristol units that were built before 1978. EPA is seeking a penalty of $52,280 for these violations.

Douglas Paulino owns six rental properties with a total of twelve rental units in Hartford. EPA received a tip that three lead-poisoned children lived in apartments that Mr. Paulino owned. Upon inspection, EPA found that between 2006 and 2009, Mr. Paulino failed to comply with the Disclosure Rule when he leased these properties. Most of the lease transactions involved families with children. EPA is seeking up to $11,000 per violation for the 18 violations of the Disclosure Rule occurring before Jan. 13, 2009, and up to $16,000 for the one violation occurring after that date. The City of Hartford Department of Health and Human Services assisted with the development of this case, including conducting a joint inspection with EPA.

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.

“Disclosing potential lead hazards in housing to prospective tenants helps parents protect young children from lead poisoning,” said Ira Leighton, acting regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Exposure to lead paint continues to be a problem in New England, because so much of our housing stock was built earlier than 1978. Helping parents understand the risk of lead in older homes means protecting kids from lifelong harm.”

Federal law requires that property owners, property managers and real estate agents leasing or selling housing built before 1978 provide the following information to tenants and buyers: 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 lead-based paint hazards; and copies of all available records or reports regarding lead-based paint and 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 retain copies of records regarding lead disclosures for three years.

More information:
Lead paint disclosure enforcement in New England (www.epa.gov/ne/enforcement/leadpaint/index.html)

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