N.H. Landlord Fined and Will Take Steps to Reduce Risk of Lead Poisoning
Release Date: 04/27/2009
(Boston, Mass. - April 27, 2009) - A Manchester-based landlord and his associated companies have agreed to pay a penalty and take action to reduce the risk of lead poisoning in apartment buildings they own in Manchester. This will settle EPA claims that the owners violated lead paint disclosure laws when they entered into leases with at least five tenants in 2005 and 2006 without providing them with lead paint disclosure information.
Under the settlement, Diosa Investments, LLC, Hala Investments, LLC and Fernando Hilarion will pay a fine of $3,129 and spend at least $28,164 eliminating lead hazards found in apartment buildings that they own in Manchester.
During the time period of EPA’s investigation, Mr. Hilarion and his companies owned six apartment buildings in Manchester. All of the buildings were built in the early 1900s and are located in the urban center of the City.
The purpose of the Disclosure Rule is to provide residential renters and purchasers of pre-1978 housing with enough information about lead-based paint in general and known lead-based paint hazards in specific housing, so they can make informed decisions about whether to lease or purchase the housing.
Federal law requires that landlords and sellers renting or selling housing built before 1978 must:
-provide a lead hazard information pamphlet that can help renters and buyers protect themselves from lead poisoning;
-include lead notification language in sales and rental forms;
-disclose any known lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards in the housing and provide available reports to renters or buyers;
-allow a lead inspection or risk assessment by home buyers; and
-maintain records of compliance with federal laws for a period of three years.
Infants and young children are especially vulnerable to lead paint exposure which can cause intelligence quotient deficiencies, reading and learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, hyperactivity and behavior problems. Pregnant women are also vulnerable because lead exposure before or during pregnancy can alter fetal development and cause miscarriages. Adults with high lead levels can suffer high blood pressure, nerve disorders, memory problems and muscle and joint pain. Childhood lead exposure is a particularly acute problem for urban children of low-income families who live in older housing.
For more information
- Lead hazard issues in New England, see: http://www.epa.gov/ne/topics/pollutants/lead.html
- The lead-based paint disclosure rule http://www.epa.gov/ne/enforcement/leadpaint/index.html
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