Oregon Landlord Cited for Failing to Notify Tenants of Lead Paint Hazards

The Curtis O. Baney Marital Trust of Oregon failed to notify tenants of potential lead paint risks in housing near Klamath Falls, Oregon, according to a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The failure to notify renters is a violation of a federal law designed to protect tenants from lead-based paint hazards in pre-1978 housing. The trust has agreed to pay a fine to settle the violations.

“People have a right to know about lead hazards prior to moving into an apartment or house,” said Rick Albright, Director of EPA’s Office of Air, Waste and Toxics in Seattle. “Landlords, property managers and home sellers have a responsibility to inform people about lead risks, and they can do this by simply giving potential tenants available records and a short pamphlet that explains lead hazards.”

Many homes and apartments built before 1978 have paint that contains high levels of lead. Lead from paint, dust, and soil can be dangerous if not managed properly. Lead exposure can harm young children, babies and developing fetuses. People can get lead in their bodies by breathing or swallowing lead dust, or by eating soil or paint chips containing lead.

Curtis O. Baney Marital Trust leases properties in Klamath Falls, Oregon at the Cimarron and Maverick Apartments. From 2007-2010, Curtis O. Baney Marital Trust leased 50 residential units numerous times and failed to notify tenants about the potential presence of lead paint and lead-based paint hazards, as required by the Real Estate Notification and Disclosure Rule. Curtis O. Baney Marital Trust will pay a $24,600 penalty.

The rule requires landlords, property management companies, real estate agencies, and home sellers to inform potential lessees and purchasers of the presence of lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards in pre-1978 housing. They must also provide the purchaser or lessee with a copy of the Lead Hazard Information Pamphlet, “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home” before signing any contracts, and keep records showing they have met the federal requirements.

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