Landlord / Tenant Law

Lead paint hazard disclosure compliance

Most Chicago-area residential structures of a certain age contain some lead-based paint. Properly managed and maintained, this paint poses little risk, but deteriorating (chipping, cracking, etc.) lead-based paint is a hazard requiring immediate attention. Pursuant to section 1098 of the Toxic Substances Control Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency enforces regulations requiring residential landlords to disclose known information about lead paint hazards to prospective tenants before leases take effect.

Some landlords make the mistake of accepting signed leases and initial rental payments without making the required disclosures, thus exposing themselves to potential liability both to the tenants and to U.S. EPA. Knowing failure to comply with the disclosure regulations can subject a landlord to civil monetary penalties assessed by U.S. EPA, and treble damages and attorneys' fees recoverable by a lessee. The regulations even provide for criminal penalties in some cases.

We have learned that the Chicago office of U.S. EPA is cracking down on residential landlords and stepping up enforcement of the lead paint hazard disclosure requirements in our area.

We can help landlords (1) determine whether your buildings are subject to the lead paint hazard regulations, (2) identify exemptions from the regulations which may apply to particular properties or lease transactions, (3) develop an appropriate disclosure form and record retention process, and (4) train your managers and personnel in compliance procedures.

Please NOTE: Since it is possible for the laws to be changed at any time, the information provided here cannot be guaranteed to reflect the current law. The information on this website is provided solely for informational purposes and does not constitute legal adivce from our firm. Please consult an attorney before taking any action.

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