Ignorance of the Law is not Your Get Out of Jail Free Card!
An Everett, Washington landlord has been ordered to pay a $21,800 fine after failing to include a lead disclosure in his lease.
The landlord, who manages 26 units located in Bellingham, Washington, repeatedly leased properties to tenants over the course of several years without including the federally-mandated lead disclosures. The EPA brought the charges against him.
“People have the right to know about lead hazards prior to renting or buying a place to live,” said Rick Albright, Director of EPA’s Office of Air, Waste and Toxics in Seattle. “Sellers, landlords and property managers who do not properly notify the people who will live in these homes can face stiff penalties.”
The Disclosure Rule requires landlords, property management companies, real estate agencies, and 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 entering into any lease or sales agreement, and keep records showing they have met the federal requirements.