EPA settles with Roanoke landlord over lead-paint hazards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today its settlement with a Roanoke landlord for alleged violations of a federal law requiring disclosure of lead-based paint hazards in residential rental properties. In a consent agreement with EPA, Frank Roupas has agreed to pay a $4,000 civil penalty and spend at least $32,000 on abating lead-based paint hazards and replacing windows at Roupas’ properties in Roanoke, Va.
EPA cited Roupas for violating at two of his rental properties the “lead disclosure rule" under the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 (RLPHA). This regulation requires sellers and landlords of residential housing built before 1978, the year the federal government banned the sale of lead-based house paint, to disclose to purchasers and tenants the presence of known lead-based paint hazards, or disclose their lack of knowledge of such hazards.
According to EPA, Roupas failed to provide required lead-based paint disclosures and required lead warning statements in leases signed in January and June of 2006. Roupas has certified he is now in compliance with the lead disclosure rule.
Under the law, landlords and home-sellers must provide a lead hazard information pamphlet; provide a standard warning statement in the lease on the dangers of lead-based paint; provide purchasers with a 10-day opportunity to conduct a lead-based paint inspection; and include disclosure and acknowledgment language in sales contracts and leases.
EPA is cooperating with other federal, state, and local agencies to protect tenants and homeowners from the health risks of lead-based paint. High blood levels of lead can cause permanent damage to the nervous system and widespread health problems, such as reduced intelligence and attention span, hearing loss, stunted growth, reading and learning problems, and behavioral difficulties. Young children, in particular, are most vulnerable because their nervous systems are still developing. For more information on environmental, health, and legal issues involving lead, please visit http://www.epa.gov/lead/index.html
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