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Landmark Realty, Inc. Settles Violations of Lead Paint Notification Rule in Maryland and D.C.

Release Date: 10/02/2006
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543

PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that Landmark Realty, Inc., a property management firm in Rockville, Md., has settled violations of a federal law requiring disclosure of lead-based paint hazards to residential tenants and homebuyers. The alleged violations involved leases for eleven residential properties in the District of Columbia, Chevy Chase, Md., and Gaithersburg, Md. In a consent agreement with EPA, Landmark Realty has agreed to pay a $1,188 penalty and spend at least $10, 692 on abating lead-based paint hazards at residential properties under the company’s management.

EPA cited Landmark Realty for violating the lead disclosure rule under the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 (RLPHA). This regulation requires sellers and landlords of residential housing built before 1978 (when the federal government banned the sale of lead-based house paint) to disclose to purchasers and tenants the presence of known lead-based paint hazards, or disclose their lack of knowledge of such hazards.

“EPA wants to help protect children’s health. We encourage parents who live in homes and apartments built before 1978, to have their children tested for lead poisoning. We urge landlords to be vigilant about informing tenants about this important public health concern,” said Donald S. Welsh, mid-Atlantic regional Administrator.

Under the law, landlords and home sellers must provide a lead hazard information pamphlet; provide a standard warning statement in the lease on the dangers of lead-based paint; provide purchasers with a 10-day opportunity to conduct a lead-based paint inspection; and include disclosure and acknowledgment language in sales contracts and leases.

According to EPA, Landmark Realty failed to provide required lead-based paint disclosures and required lead warning statements in leases signed in August 2000 through March 2002 for eleven residential properties (eight in the District of Columbia, two in Chevy Chase, Md., and one in Gaithersburg, Md.).

EPA is cooperating with other federal, state, and local agencies to protect tenants and homeowners from the health risks of lead-based paint. High blood levels of lead can cause permanent damage to the nervous system and widespread health problems, such as a reduced intelligence and attention span, hearing loss, stunted growth, reading and learning problems and behavioral difficulties. Young children, in particular, are most vulnerable because their nervous systems are still developing. For more information on environmental, health, and legal issues involving lead, please visit http://www.epa.gov/lead/index.html

As part of the settlement, Landmark Realty has neither admitted nor denied liability for the cited violations, but has certified that it is now in compliance with the lead disclosure rule.

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