Connecticut Landlords Agree to Settle Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Case - 174 units will be lead-safe at a cost of more than $400,000
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced that a Connecticut property management company and several affiliated property owners in New Haven have agreed to pay a $32,000 fine for failing to inform tenants their apartments may contain lead-based paint. In addition, the landlords agreed to render those units lead safe at a cost of more than $400,000.
According to EPA and HUD, Renaissance Management Company, Inc., BHP Associates Limited Partners, GAB Hill Limited Partners, Renaissance Hill LP, and Beechwood Gardens, LP violated the federal Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (Residential Lead Act) by failing to inform tenants that their homes may contain potentially dangerous levels of lead.
“Lead paint is still one of the most serious and avoidable public health threats for children in New England,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Property managers and property owners have an important role in preventing lead poisoning and need to follow all lead paint disclosure requirements so that families are aware of potential lead hazards.”
HUD’s Deputy Secretary Roy A. Bernardi said, “The law is clear. Landlords and home sellers must inform their tenants and homebuyers if there’s a possibility their homes may contain potentially dangerous lead. This joint agreement should send a strong signal to everyone that both HUD and EPA will work together to protect the health and safety of families.”
According to the settlement, the parties noted above will spend more than $400,000 testing for lead-based paint hazards, replacing or abating all windows, and abating all lead-based paint hazards in every property owned and/or managed by them.
The case is among more than 25 lead-related civil and criminal cases EPA New England has taken since launching an initiative to make sure landlords, property owners and property managers are complying with federal lead disclosure laws. The initiative has included inspections, some conducted jointly with HUD, around New England, as well as compliance assistance workshops.
The settlement announced today is the third such judicial consent decree or administrative agreement in New England among HUD, EPA, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the U.S. Department of Justice. Over 10,570 rental units have been or will be made lead safe for tenants by landlords and management companies found to be in violation of the Residential Lead Act. Moreover, the landlords and management companies involved in these three settlements have paid civil fines totaling $153,223, and paid over $4 million to eliminate or reduce lead hazards.
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