Once again, three companies made the news for violating lead-paint regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The companies were in violation of the Real Estate Notification and Disclosure Rule and the Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule.
One company failed to provide tenants in an apartment complex with lead paint disclosure information. Additionally, this company violated three provisions of the RRP rule during renovation of the residential and commercial property in New Hampshire. The hired subcontractor involved violated several provisions of the RRP Rule during renovation, including failure to properly contain the work area. Violation fines for both parties involved amount to $192,000 and up .
Lead exposure can affect almost every organ and system in children, pregnant women and adults. Children under six years of age are more prone to lead-based paint effects which include behavioral problems, lower IQ, slowed growth, anemia and hearing problems. Even small traces of lead can cause damaging health effects. Lead exposure during pregnancy can reduce the growth of the fetus and cause premature birth. Adults can also experience cardiovascular effects, high blood pressure, hypertension, and decreased kidney function, as well as reproductive issues.
To protect families and employees from lead exposure, it is imperative that renovators, property managers, sellers, and real estate agents follow two rules: the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule and the Real Estate & Disclosure Rule.
What is the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule?
The Renovation, Repair and Painting rule was implemented as a way to prevent lead-based paint exposure, primarily preventing exposure to children. Renovators are required to complete an initial accredited training course when working with disturbed lead-paint surfaces. Renovators must also be EPA-certfied to be able to work with lead-paint surfaces. The rule also outlines proper lead safe work practices in order to contain and manage lead dust and chips. Renovators and their employees must follow these guidelines. Additionally, the rule mandates that records be kept to document work activities and compliance.
What is the Disclosure Rule?
Property owners and managers are required to provide potential tenants with information regarding lead-based paint risks and if the rental property contains lead-based paint. Tenants should be given this information prior to signing a lease agreement in order for the tenants to make a well-informed decision. This rule must be followed if the property was constructed before 1978.
The Disclosure Rule also affects home buyers and sellers. Sellers are required to provide the buyer with general information regarding lead paint hazards, known areas of lead-based paint, and provide a Disclosure of Information form noting that the seller has complied with notification requirements.
Property managers, renovators, sellers and real estate agents must provide the other interested party with a “Protect Your Family” Pamphlet provided by the EPA. Visit the EPA website to download and save a copy.
If you suspect the presence of lead paint, contact a reputable consultant with experience in testing and monitoring for lead. Feel free to contact an SRP consultant with any concerns. Contact us at (318) 222-2364 or visit us online. SRP has seven convenient locations in Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Midland, Shreveport and Pittsburgh.