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Kansas City Landlord, Property Manager Settle Claims for Violating Lead Paint Disclosure Regulations
Release Date: 07/20/2006
Contact Information: Kim Olson, (913) 551-7458, firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Kansas City, Kan., July 20, 2006) – A property management company and an apartment building owner in Kansas City, Mo., have agreed to binding settlements with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to resolve alleged failures to inform tenants about actual and potential lead-based paint hazards in housing built before 1978.
Cohen-Esrey Real Estate Services Inc. is a property management firm that manages multiple housing units in the Kansas City area. Counts against Cohen-Esrey included failure to provide the required lead paint hazard information pamphlet and failure to provide records or reports to tenants before the tenants were obligated under lease agreements. The requirements are in the Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Rule.
Mohamed Ali Naji is the owner/lessor of Newbern Apartments in Kansas City, Mo. Counts against Naji included failure to provide the required lead paint hazard information pamphlet to tenants before the tenants were obligated under lease agreements.
The alleged violators agreed to perform environmentally beneficial projects in exchange for reduced penalties. Such projects are known as supplemental environmental projects. The projects must improve, protect or reduce risks to public health or the environment. It cannot include activities a violator is otherwise legally required to perform.
Cohen-Esrey agreed to do several supplemental environmental projects involving replacement of windows, window casings and trim as well as exterior doors and casings at several properties. Cohen-Esrey will spend about $242,600 on the projects. The company agreed to pay a reduced civil penalty of $21,529.
Naji's supplemental environmental projects include an environmental risk assessment and lead-based paint abatement at Newbern Apartments. He will spend about $16,400 on the projects. He also agreed to pay a reduced civil penalty of $2,347.
The Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Rule is a public right-to-know regulatory initiative under the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act. The intent of the act and its accompanying regulations is to help prevent exposure to lead-based paint by requiring disclosure and notification of actual and potential hazards when selling or leasing housing.
High levels of lead in children can cause permanent damage to the brain and nervous system and other widespread health problems, such as reduced intelligence and attention span, hearing loss, stunted growth, reading and learning problems, and behavioral difficulties.
The disclosure rule requires landlords, sellers, and real estate agents to provide prospective tenants and purchasers a lead hazard information pamphlet, any information and/or reports about lead-based paint hazards at the property, and a lead-based paint disclosure form with a lead warning statement to be signed by the parties involved. Sellers must also provide purchasers with an opportunity to conduct a lead-based paint evaluation.
Sample documents and instructions in English and Spanish are available on the Residential Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Program Web site: epa.gov/lead/pubs/leadbase.htm
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