A Connecticut landlord has agreed to pay a penalty of $2,140 and perform a lead abatement project valued at $20,360 for allegedly violating federal lead-based paint disclosure requirements. These violations potentially put tenants at risk of exposure to lead hazards.
In a recent enforcement action, EPA alleged that Michael Perugini violated the federal Lead Disclosure Rule when he failed to disclose information about lead paint to seven tenants when leasing units at his Bristol apartment buildings. Specifically, Mr. Perugini failed to provide records or reports regarding lead hazards, failed to make sure that the lease included a Lead Warning Statement and a statement disclosing the known or unknown presence of lead- based paint, and failed to provide a copy of EPA’s lead hazard information pamphlet to its lessees.
In addition to paying the fine, Mr. Perugini will perform a lead abatement project that will include the replacement of windows and doors, presumed to contain lead paint, in several residential apartment buildings in Bristol, Conn.The violations all occured in Bristol, at units owned and operated by Mr. Perugini, at 309, 353 and 372 Park Street, 41 Stearns Street and 21 Wolcott Street.
The purpose of the Disclosure Rule is to give tenants adequate information about the risks associated with lead paint so that they can make informed decisions before signing a lease agreement.
Infants and young children are especially vulnerable to lead paint exposure, which can cause developmental impairment, reading and learning disabilities; impaired hearing; reduced attention span, hyperactivity and behavioral problems. Adults with high lead levels can suffer difficulties during pregnancy, high blood pressure, nerve disorders, memory problems and muscle and joint pain.
Federal law requires that property owners, property managers and real estate agents leasing or selling housing built before 1978 provide the following information to tenants and buyers: an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet, called Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home; a lead warning statement; statements disclosing any known lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards; and copies of all available records or reports regarding lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards. This information must be provided to tenants and buyers before they enter into leases or purchase and sales agreements. Property owners, property managers and real estate agents equally share responsibility for providing lead disclosure information and must retain copies of records regarding lead disclosures for three years.