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Lead paint and property management issues

| May 21, 2019 | Firm News

California property managers have certain responsibilities regarding the health and safety of the people who live in their properties. One of the most practical ways to manage the risks associated with rental property is to ensure there are no dangerous substances or toxins present that could cause harm. Among the most potentially hazardous substances is lead paint.

Lead paint can cause serious harm, and for this reason, it has been illegal to use it in new structures for a long time. However, it is still present in some places, specifically in older buildings. Landlords and property managers have the responsibility of ensuring that there is no lead paint present, and if there is, taking steps to notify renters of the hazard.

What’s the big deal?

It is smart not to underestimate the potential danger of lead paint in your buildings. When it chips, it can turn into small particles, even a fine dust, that a person can inhale. This can lead to lead poisoning, which will ultimately result in various types of health complications. Lead dust can also get into the soil, which can lead to environmental concerns.

What should property managers do?

Property managers would be wise to be especially cautious when dealing with structures built before the year 1978. For older buildings, this may mean checking to ensure that layers of other types of paint are not covering lead paint. Even if covered, lead paint poses a risk if chipped and exposed.

If you are a property manager, it may interest you to note there is no law that requires you to remove lead paint. However, you will have to give renters and potential renters notice of the existence of lead paint in a rental unit. This could lead to difficulty renting your space. Failure to disclose an issue involving lead paint could expose you to litigation down the road. Dealing with this issue in an appropriate way is an effective way to minimize risks and protect your interests as a property manager.

Limit risks, reduce complications

One of the most critical aspects of owning or managing rental property is minimizing risks. It is prudent to work diligently to avoid problems and reduce the chance you could face legal complications down the road. You may want to speak to an experienced real estate attorney regarding the potential ways you can protect your interests and address specific concerns that could pose a health threat to your renters.