LEAD IN HOUSING LEADS TO FINES FOR PROPERTY OWNER
Like many home and property owners in New Hampshire, Biren Properties Inc. owns properties built before 1978. If a property owner sells or leases a property they are required by law to provide information about lead based paint and paint hazards. According to an EPA investigation Biren did not do this.
Federal law requires property owners to take certain steps and provide information on any properties built before 1978. The steps and information required follow:
- Provide a lead hazard information pamphlet
- 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 reports to renters or buyers
- Allow a lead inspection or risk assessment
- Maintain records of compliance with federal laws for a period of three years
For his failure to abide by these laws Biren settled with the EPA and will owe $3,794 in penalties. In addition Biren will have to replace windows, doors, and perform other interior lead abatement work on three properties. These measures will cost the landlord at least $34,000. When the work is finished Biren will be required to hire a licensed lead inspector to ensure that the properties are free of lead.
Lead is especially dangerous for small children as they often put non-food items into their mouths. Even small chips of paint or dust from the paint can cause lead poisoning in children. Children affected by lead poisoning may suffer from lifelong illnesses and/or mental delays and learning disabilities. In extreme cases lead poisoning can even lead to death. Lead abatement, among other things, can help prevent or lessen the chances of lead poisoning affecting children