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Landlord pays for failing to disclose lead-based paint at Sacramento rental properties Property owner facing penalties from U.S. EPA

Release Date: 10/07/2008
Contact Information: Mary Simms, (415) 947-4270,

(10/7/2008 -- SAN FRANCISCO) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined a San Francisco-based property owner $25,410 for alleged violations of federal lead-based paint disclosure requirements at eight rental properties in Sacramento, California.

    “Property owners take note: The EPA takes seriously its responsibility to ensure that renters and buyers receive the information they need to protect children from potential lead-based paint hazards,” said Enrique Manzanilla, director of the EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division for the Pacific Southwest Region. “This enforcement action is an example of the EPA’s commitment to enforcing toxic substances regulations to protect public health -- especially children, from potential lead-based paint hazards."

    Residential property owner Joseph Lueras did not provide federally-required lead warning statements to his tenants before he leased them pre-1978 housing units located in Sacramento, California. He also failed to disclose any knowledge or reports pertaining to the existence of lead-based paint in those units or else indicate that he had no such knowledge or reports. These failures resulted in multiple violations of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act.

    Between August 2002 and March 2006, Lueras owned and leased various residential rental units located in Sacramento, California at 4208 55th Street and 1823 T Street.

    It is estimated three-quarters of the U.S. residential dwellings built before 1978 contains some lead-based paint. Lead poisoning in children can have serious, long-term consequences including intelligence deficiencies, learning disabilities, hearing impairment, hyperactivity and/or behavioral problems.

    Federal law requires that persons and entities who sell or rent housing built before 1978 must
    provide an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet; include lead notification language in sales and rental forms; disclose any known lead-based paint hazards and provide reports to buyers or renters; allow a lead inspection or risk assessment by home buyers; and maintain records certifying compliance with applicable federal requirements for three years.

    Children younger than age six are among the most vulnerable to adverse health risks from lead-based paint. The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act helps prevent exposure -- especially the exposure of children -- to hazards from lead-based paint by requiring disclosure and notification when selling or leasing applicable housing.

    For additional information on lead in paint, dust and soil, see: