Boston, MA – July 11, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Private Reserve Properties, LLC, a Rhode Island property management company, will pay a penalty of $21,857, and perform an additional project valued at $210,000 to settle EPA allegations that it violated federal lead disclosure laws.
The settlement requires Private Reserve to mitigate lead-based paint hazards in over 40 residential properties in and around Providence. Many of these properties are in environmental justice areas, which have higher than average rates of poverty.
EPA asserted in a 2012 complaint that Private Reserve Properties violated the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act and the Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Rule by failing to notify prospective tenants, including families with young children, about potential lead-paint hazards in housing owned by the company. Private Reserve Properties owns about 50 properties, with about 130 rental units, in and around Providence. The complaint asserted 61 violations of the federal disclosure requirements associated with 16 leases signed between 2009 and 2011.
Exposure to lead paint is a serious health concern in New England due to the age of the housing stock. Infants and young children are especially vulnerable to lead paint exposure, which can cause lowered intelligence, reading and learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, hyperactivity and behavior problems. Adults with high lead levels can suffer difficulties during pregnancy, high blood pressure, nerve disorders, memory problems and muscle and joint pain.
The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act and the Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Rule aim to reduce lead exposure by ensuring that prospective tenants have important information about the potential presence of lead-based paint in housing built before 1978 and the health hazards associated with lead exposure.
Among other things, the Disclosure Rule requires landlords to provide prospective tenants with an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet and lead warning statement; disclose the presence of known lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards; and provide prospective tenants with available records and reports pertaining to lead-based paint in the housing to be leased. Property managers and owners therefore play an important role in helping to prevent lead poisoning. Violations of the federal disclosure requirements are subject to the penalty provisions set forth in the Toxic Substances Control Act.
More information: Lead disclosure rules and health concerns (http://www.epa.gov/lead/)
David Deegan, (617) 918-1017