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Owner and Manager of D.C. Apartment Cited for Failing to Inform Tenants of Lead-Based Paint
Release Date: 10/23/2000
Contact Information: Ruth Wuenschel, (215) 814-5540
Ruth Wuenschel, 215-814-5540
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a $16,632 penalty against the owners and the managers of a Washington, D.C., apartment building for allegedly violating a federal law requiring disclosure of lead-based paint hazards to residential tenants.
CGNB Associates and its partners, owners of the building at 3304 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E., and its agent, Willoughby Real Estate Co., Inc., allegedly violated the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 when renting five apartments in the building in 1997 and 1998.
Under this law, sellers and landlords of residential housing built before 1978 must disclose to purchasers and tenants any lead-based paint hazards; provide a lead hazard information pamphlet; provide a standard warning statement in the lease on the dangers of lead-based paint; and give purchasers 10 days to conduct a lead-based paint inspection. Disclosure and acknowledgment language must be included in sales contracts and leases.
EPA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Renewal are cooperating in a nationwide effort 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.
EPA’s administrative complaints allege that, at the time of the lease agreements, CGNB and Willoughby did not include the required disclosure statements in five leases. At least one of the apartments had a child under the age of six.
EPA’s complaints propose $8,316 in civil penalties against each party. The proposed penalty figure has been reduced because the parties complied with the lead-based paint disclosure rule immediately after receiving information about the rule at a July 1999 meeting hosted by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton.
The parties have the right to a hearing to contest the alleged violations and proposed penalty.
For information on the Lead Disclosure Rule, visit www.epe.gov/reg3wcmd/leadisc.htm