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Property Owner to Pay Fine, Abate Lead

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

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A California real estate company has reached a settlement with federal authorities after it failed to notify tenants of the presence of lead-based paint in some of its rental properties.

Piini Realty Inc. will have to remove doors, windows and kitchen cabinets from 12 of its properties in Salinas, CA, according to an Aug. 24 statement from the Environmental Protection Agency. The abatement will need to be performed by a company qualified to do such work, and the real estate agency will have to provide progress updates.

All of the lead-based paint must be removed within 18 months, the EPA said. The federal agency also levied a $4,250 fine on the company for failing to disclose the lead-based paint to potential tenants. Also, Piini Realty must spend a minimum of $38,255 removing the paint.

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Piini Realty Inc. must pay more than $40,000 and perform an abatement project to resolve allegations it failed to noifiy tenants of the possibility of lead-based paint in its properties.

“To protect families from lead poisoning, it is crucial for property managers and landlords to provide tenants information concerning the known or potential presence of lead-based paint hazards,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest, in the statement.

“Lead-based paint is still the main source of lead exposure for children, which can cause learning disabilities and behavior problems,” he said.

Avoiding the Law

The federal government banned lead-based paint from housing in 1978. Federal law requires that those who sell or rent properties must disclose lead hazard information to potential buyers or tenants.

But that didn’t happen in the case of Piini, according to the EPA.

An EPA investigation found that the firm did not provide lead hazard information nor notify its future tenants of possibility that lead-based paint could exist in their homes.

The EPA says it puts a high priority on lead-based paint awareness because it is an issue that adversely affects children and lower-income families.

No level of lead paint in the blood is considered safe, according to the U.S Center for Disease Control.


Tagged categories: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Government; Lead; Lead; Lead Disclosure Rule; Lead paint abatement; Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP)

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