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New Rules for Property Management Companies Performing Maintenance

EPA Requires Lead Certified Training

Effective April 22, 2010, federal law mandates that all contractors, home owners, and property managers performing restoration, repair and painting projects on rental properties must be certified and trained to follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. The requirement goes into effect when:

• The surface is greater than six square feet (2’x 3′) of wall space (This is a very small area).

• The residential property was built before 1978.

Property Management Companies, Rental Property Owners and Contractors Must Go Through Training.

Training programs, approved by the EPA, must be completed by everyone involved in the restoration, repair or painting project before anyone can begin work. The training leads to Lead Certification which must will then to be renewed every five years. The reason the training has been mandated is the risk to workers during remodeling work that they will be exposed to lead as fine dust particles escape into the air. The lead-laden air is breathed in, leading to many health problems including serious nervous system damage, memory loss, severe headaches, and countless other problems which can even result in death. At special risk are young children.

Why are Property Management Companies and Other Rental Property Owners having to Deal with Lead Issues?

Originally, lead was fused into paint to promote performance, resistance to moisture, mildew, and enhance durability. Due to a court case ruling in 1978, paint holding more than 0.06% (by weight of dried lead product) was banned for residential use in the United States. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has since issued laws prohibiting the use of lead based paint on toys and furniture products in order to diminish the threat of lead poisoning in both adults and children. Trace amounts of lead may still be present in paint products today under this law.

Not Only Property Managers and Rental Property Owners Should be Concerned.

If you are aware of lead based paint in your home and plan on renovating or repainting, it is strongly encouraged that you take one of the EPA approved training programs. You will learn how to:

• Stabilize any deteriorating paint (i.e. paint chips) in a lead-safe manner
• Take precautions during your preparations that will reduce your exposure to lead. Lead poisoning remains a major environmental health concern. The EPA has devised a detailed list of guidelines to adhere to when working in an environment containing lead based paint.

What is the Impact of this Regulation on Renters?

If the apartment or house you are renting was built before 1978, your prospective landlord must provide you with the EPA certified document. Landlords are required to present this document to prospective buyers and renters of pre-1978 homes. These documents must also be shared with residents of properties where renovations will take place. Any property manager who cares about the well-being of his/her tenants will issue this documentation to all new tenants because “Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home” contains valuable information applicable to a multitude of exposure sources not necessarily limited to the rental property.

Compliance to the EPA Lead Certification Requirement Should be Considered if You Hire a Property Management Company.

If your property ever needs maintenance, you want to know that the company you have hired will be able to make those repairs in a manner that complies with government regulations. You can also rest assured that your risk of facing litigation due to improper handling of a lead exposure situation. Hiring a company that stays up to date with all EPA laws & regulations, is one way to be assured your property is in safe hands. You also want to know that your property is being managed by a property management company that understands the importance of healthy living and takes pride in providing a safe housing environment for all of your valued residents.

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