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Rhode Island Based Landlords Pay Fine for Failing to Warn Tenants about Lead Paint

Release Date: 02/03/2010
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, 617-918-1027

(Boston—February 3, 2010) Two former Woonsocket, Rhode Island landlords have agreed to pay a $7,000 penalty for violating federal lead-based paint disclosure requirements. These violations potentially put tenants at risk of exposure to lead hazards.

In a recent complaint, EPA alleged that Peter Fondini and Michael Walsh violated the federal Lead Disclosure Rule when they failed to disclose information about lead paint to tenants who rented their multi-unit residential properties located on Chester Street in Woonsocket, between 2005 and 2006. Specifically, the two former landlords failed to provide records or reports regarding lead hazards, failed to make sure that the lease included a Lead Warning Statement and a statement disclosing the known or unknown presence of lead-based paint, and failed to provide a copy of EPA’s lead hazard information pamphlet to four lessees.

The purpose of the Disclosure Rule is to give tenants adequate information about the risks associated with lead paint so that they can make informed decisions before signing a lease agreement.

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.


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 health hazards (epa.gov/ne/eco/ne_lead/index.html)

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Lead-based paint disclosure rule (epa.gov/ne/enforcement/leadpaint/index.html)