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Landlord Settles EPA Lead-Paint Case

Friday, April 24, 2015

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BOSTON—A Connecticut property manager has agreed to pay $54,644 and spend nearly $20,000 on a window-replacement project to settle allegations involving lead-based paint regulations.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alleges that Garden Homes Management Corp., of Stamford, CT, violated EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule and Lead Paint Disclosure law from September 2010 to November 2012, while renovating and leasing residential units in Connecticut.

Under the settlement announced April 15, the landlord agreed to perform a lead risk mitigation project on a property in Bridgeport, CT.

Garden Homes
Screenshot via www.gardenhomesmanagement.com

Garden Homes, founded in 1968, owns and manages properties in five Northeastern states.

Founded in 1968, Garden Homes owns and manages rental properties in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Vermont and New Hampshire. The company also owns and operates neighborhood shopping centers, movie theaters, and laundromats in Connecticut and metro New York.

The company did not respond Wednesday (April 22) to a request for comment.

Documents in the case are available here.

Case Allegations

The complaint alleged that Garden Homes had performed at least one renovation project in a Naugatuck, CT, property in violation of RRP requirements, the EPA reported.

The rule requires use of an EPA-certified renovator and RRP-certified workers; provision of lead hazard information to tenants; and compliance recordkeeping.

The EPA also said that Garden Homes had failed to comply with lead disclosure requirements when it leased 18 residential units at nine Connecticut properties.

lead paint
© iStock.com / Hoppyard Hoppyard

Old windows, doors and wood siding in housing built before 1978 are known to contribute to lead poisoning in children, the EPA noted.

The disclosure law is meant to ensure that prospective tenants have enough information about lead paint in general and at a property to make an informed decision about renting there.

“Infants’ and children’s developing bodies are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of lead exposure, which can include lifelong impacts such as developmental impairment, learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, hyperactivity and behavioral problems,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office.

“The disclosure requirements, and the safe work practices found in the RRP rule, are designed to help ensure that people are protecting their kids from suffering serious, lifelong health impacts from lead exposure.”

Lead-Abatement Project

The improvements, valued at $20,000, include removing and replacing approximately 24 original, lead-paint containing windows from a property in Bridgeport.

The property covered in the settlement was built in 1961 and is located in a historically disadvantaged area, according to the agency.

Old windows, doors and wood siding in housing built before 1978 are known to contribute to lead poisoning in children, the EPA noted.

RRP Actions

Since 2012, EPA has pursued nearly 20 actions in New England to enforce the RRP Rule.

Continued enforcement of the RRP Rule ensures both that children are being protected from avoidable exposure to lead, as well as there being a “level playing field” for contractors following the health-protective work practices in the regulation, according to the agency.

   

Tagged categories: Building owners; EPA; Lead; Lead Disclosure Rule; Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP); Renovation

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