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Richmond Property Management Co. and Owners to Pay $84,224 in Penalties for Lead Disclosure Violations
Release Date: 3/23/2005
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543
Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543
PHILADELPHIA – The owners and the management company of four residential apartment buildings in Richmond, Va. have been found guilty of violating a federal
law requiring disclosure of lead-based paint hazards to residential tenants.
Chief Administrative Law Judge Susan L. Biro issued an initial decision that assessed penalties for the five respondents totaling $84,224. This is the largest penalty ever assessed in the country in an EPA administrative hearing for lead disclosure violations, more than doubling the previous high penalty.
Ronald H. and Patricia L. Hunt own the residential rental properties at 1124 North 28th Street and 1813 North 29th St. Patricia L. Hunt and David E. Hunt own the residential rental property at 3015 Barton Ave. J. Edward Dunivan owns the residential rental property at 2405 Third Ave. Genesis Properties, Inc., manages these properties.
The lead disclosure rule requires that owners, landlords, and agents renting or selling residential property built prior to 1978 must disclose to tenants or purchasers information pertaining to lead-based paint. All of the above properties were built prior to 1978.
Correspondence was sent to the owners and property management firm from the City of Richmond Department of Health citing lead-paint conditions and/or hazards in the rental
properties. The information was not disclosed to 10 groups of tenants over a three-year period before they leased the properties. This information could have enabled the renters to take proper precautions to avoid their children’s exposure to lead-based paint present in their apartments.
Lead Disclosure Violations - 3/23/05
“Lead poisoning can be prevented. If parents are concerned that their children may have been exposed to lead-based paint, they can get their homes and children tested, and learn preventative steps that can be taken to avoid lead poisoning,” said Donald S. Welsh, EPA regional administrator mid-Atlantic region.
Renters for five of the 10 apartments had children under the age of six when they entered into the lease. The other five renters had children ranging from seven to 15 years old at the time they entered into the lease. Children under age six are especially vulnerable to the dangerous effects of lead poisoning which can impair their neurological development.
To find out more about Richmond’s lead poisoning prevention program see its website at www/richmondgov.com/department/hsis/health/programs/lead.asp or call the Lead Safe Richmond Program at 804-646-3300.
Check out www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/leadisc.htm for additional information on the lead disclosure rule.
The parties have the right to appeal the penalty decision to the Environmental Advisory Board.