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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    27

    Default Landlord Lied About Lead Based Paint

    My landlord lied in the lease saying he has no known lead based paint in the house or has paperwork about known lead based paint. The house was built in early 1900's and I tested it with a kit from lowes and its positive. The paint all over the windows are chipping and i have two small kids. So im trying to move and he gave me a bad reference saying my rent is always late, there was a complaint about trash ( which was there was no tops on the garbage cans in the alley, which is a complaint against him ) that he turned against me. Please help im in washington state.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Landlord Lied About Lead Based Paint

    sorry i should of givin more info. So now the landlord is mad cause i brought it to his attention and he has to fix it now. Thats why he is lying

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: Landlord Lied About Lead Based Paint

    Was your rent always or often late?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Landlord Lied About Lead Based Paint

    No we had an agrement when i moved in cause my job pays on the 5th and 20th , that if rent was post marked by the 5th we were ok. The couple times i was late I always called and explained and he was ok. He told the rental place that I always payed late on the 5th sometimes he wouldnt even pay till the 10th. He doesnt even cash the check till the 20th anyway.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,273

    Default Re: Landlord Lied About Lead Based Paint

    He technically is not lying about your payments then ... you can explain your past to the new landlord .. its up to them to decide. You should point out that you have always paid. Thats the only concern a landlord has (besides that of not trashing the place).

    Below is in respect to your lead issue:

    That lead is in the old apt. is not going to be relevant to your new landlord .. I would not bad mouth your previous (current) landlord; I would simply say that this is the first you heard that he was not happy with the payment times ... that you left on your own accord & were not in violation of any lease agreement.

    Given that you have lead in your current apt., you may be able to move out immediately w/o being considered violating the lease.

    I would speak to the owner of the building & tell them you are considering a civil suit for the lead contamination; and a settlement would include them allowing you out of your lease & giving good references.

    Have you called the building dept. to report the lead paint (I assume you did a simply acid - acetate test?) ... they will check if needed.

    At some point in time, lead paint abatement could have been covered by simply painting over the lead paint. Different states have different rules; you should check with your local bldg. dept. as soon as possible your landlord did this - you should not judge your landlord prematurely - nobody wants to expose children to lead (the bldg. dept. may have records about any work done previously).

    Lead is transmitted (from white paint, as lead oxide is white & was used as a pigment a while back) by inhalation of the paint dust (not by eating the paint chips). And the % of Pb in the paint is pretty high in the paint (~ 25-50% by wt.)

    So it can be a serious hazard, especially for young children.

    So you could talk to the owner of the property & start talking about the EPA regulations (and if EPA talk doesnt scare the hell out of him, he's an idiot)- the EPA is the biggest pain-in-the-ass agency in the USA.

    If he is not reasonable, I would find a new place ASAP & once found take immediate possession & inform the owner of your current place that you are leaving due to a continuing hazardous condition. Take pictures of the chipping paint areas .... (this assumes that the chipping is great)

    Alternately, you could simply re-paint over the chipping areas with a similar color paint. Hopefully, it has wooden floors..if not, place a piece of carpet over the area/room where the chipped paint is (I am assuming its one small room). Then upon leaving, roll up the carpet and toss it. In this way, you have minimized the possibility of contamination.

    I would, if you wish to get security $$ back, have someone watch you collect a sample & send it out to an independent lab or govt agency (or call a govt agency to come & collect a sample themselves) for Pb testing . An acid-acetate test is a reliable indicator for Pb, not not an absolute. Labs have equipment that test for Pb specifically (cost ~50 bucks).

    I have not seen your lease, so I cannot say that your landlord lied to you. It may be he abated the lead paint (through various methods) - then he likely could say he had no lead paint. He has lead in piping etc. but that is normal for all structures, even today.

    I am a polymer chemist very familiar with paint & general rules about lead paint. Note: if you are complaining about a very small area of paint chipping then you should let your landlord abate the hazard -- if he refuses then you will be in the "right" even if it is a small area (the start of a larger problem?)

    You can have your children tested for lead ... it stays in the hair & tissues - your body does not excrete the metal. Talk to your doctor.

    Finally, DOCUMENT your communications with your landlord in WRITING & in a journal if he responds verbally & followup with a letter after a verbal encounter (ie thank you for speaking to me where you said blah blah blah .. I understand what you said but disagree/agree ...). By US MAIL unless he is responsive by email (send out the first few contact via email & US Mail .... and send to the owners address (if a LLC or Corp. to the registered agent of the LLC or Corp --- go to your sec. of state's website for this information under its business webpage or portal). Legal service is guarranteed by service to the registered agent if an LLC or Corp. If private, to the Bus. address on your lease or where you send checks to.

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