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Washington landlord cited for failing to notify tenants of lead paint

Release Date: 05/15/2012
Contact Information: Kim Farnham, EPA LBP Compliance Officer, 206-553-6697, farnham.kim@epa.gov Jeff Philip, EPA Public Affairs, 206-553-1465, philip.jeff@epa.gov

(Seattle – May 15, 2012) Robert Kerr of Everett, Washington will pay a penalty for alleged violations of the federal Real Estate Notification and Disclosure Rule, according to a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Mr. Kerr leases properties located in Bellingham, Washington. From 2008-2010, Mr. Kerr leased 26 residential units numerous times and failed to notify tenants about the presence of lead paint and lead-based paint hazards, as required by the Disclosure Rule. Mr. Kerr will pay a $21,800 penalty.

“People have the right to know about lead hazards prior to renting or buying a place to live,” said Rick Albright, Director of EPA’s Office of Air, Waste and Toxics in Seattle. “Sellers, landlords and property managers who do not properly notify the people who will live in these homes can face stiff penalties.”

The Disclosure Rule requires landlords, property management companies, real estate agencies, and sellers to inform potential lessees and purchasers of the presence of lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards in pre-1978 housing. They must also provide the purchaser or lessee with a copy of the Lead Hazard Information Pamphlet, “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home” before entering into any lease or sales agreement, and keep records showing they have met the federal requirements.

Lead from paint, dust, and soil can be dangerous if not managed properly. Lead exposure can harm young children, babies and developing fetuses. People can get lead in their bodies by breathing or swallowing lead dust, or by eating soil or paint chips containing lead.

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