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Foxboro, Mass. Landlord Faces $20,600 EPA Penalty for Non-Disclosure of Lead Risks in Residential Units

Release Date: 03/19/2008
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – March 19, 2008) – EPA announced today that it has filed an administrative complaint against Daniel J. Lynch and Grace K. Lynch seeking a $20,600 civil penalty for failing to notify tenants about potential health hazards from lead paint.

According to EPA’s complaint, Daniel J. Lynch and Grace K. Lynch failed to provide renters in Foxboro, Mass. with lead warning statements and lead hazard information pamphlets and for failing to disclose whether they had knowledge and records or reports pertaining to potential lead-based paint hazards. The complaint alleges that the Lynches failed to comply with the lead disclosure rules for the leasing of four units of pre-1978 residential housing.

“Lead poisoning is a serious health threat for children in New England, because a large amount of housing is older and can contain lead paint,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA’s New England office. “It is critically important that renters and buyers, especially with young children, get the information they need to protect themselves and their children from potential exposure to lead paint.”

This case is among dozens of lead-related civil and criminal cases EPA's New England Office has taken since launching a region-wide effort to make sure landlords and property owners and managers are complying with federal lead disclosure laws. This effort has included hundreds of inspections around New England, as well as compliance assistance workshops.

The purpose of the Real Estate Notification and Disclosure Rule is to provide residential renters and purchasers of pre-1978 housing with enough information about lead-based paint in general and known lead-based paint hazards in specific housing, so that they can make informed decisions about whether to lease or purchase the housing.

Federal law requires that sellers and landlords selling or renting housing built before 1978 must:
provide an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet, "Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home";
include lead notification language in sales and rental forms;
disclose any known lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards in the living unit and provide available reports to prospective buyers or renters, prior to signing purchase and sale contracts and lease documents;
allow a lead inspection or risk assessment by home buyers;
maintain records certifying compliance with federal laws for a period of three years.

Related Information:

Lead-based paint disclosure rule: (https://www.epa.gov/region1/enforcement/leadpaint/index.html)
Lead paint health hazards: (http://epa.gov/region1/eco/ne_lead/index.html)