New England Landlord Faces $20,600 EPA Penalty for Non-Disclosure of Lead Paint Risks

Foxboro, Mass.–The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 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 at their residential units in Foxboro, Mass. According to EPA’s complaint, Daniel J. Lynch and Grace K. Lynch failed to provide renters on their property 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,” says 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.   Federal law requires that sellers and landlords selling or renting housing built before 1978 must: •    provide an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet;•    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, and•    maintain records certifying compliance with federal laws for a period of three years.