We're From The Government.

Posted on August 25, 2012 by

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Environmental Protection Agency Seal

Environmental Protection Agency Seal (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

Landlords and realtors around Imagesthe country are being fined tens of thousands of dollars for failing to provide an “EPA-approved” pamphlet to tenants seeking to rent or buy a house built before 1978.

The pamphlet, “Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home”, was included in an Act passed in 1992 as a measure to guard against hazards associated with lead-based paints. You know, the stuff that was in the house you grew up in. And the out-of-control EPA is having a field day with it – 20 years later.

The pamphlet offers tips to “protect your family,” such as keep play areas clean, keep children from chewing window sills or other painted surfaces, and clean up paint chips immediately.

You can see why they’d want to rip citizens off for “failure to disclose” common-sense housecleaning tips, like keeping play areas clean. It’s really important. Most people are too stupid to realize on their own that keeping things clean is often associated with good health – after all, they were educated in public schools. So the federal government needs to step in.

Several cases have led to penalties as high as $50,000 for failure to distribute the EPA brochures.

No penalties appear to be imposed against owners or tenants who fail to abide by the advice set forth in the brochures – the multi-thousand-dollar fines are imposed by EPA only against landlords or realtors that they believe did not hand out the pamphlet. By the way, no proof of such failure is required.

Moreover, if an owner paid to remediate any lead-paint issues prior to renting or selling, and even if they can provide proof that they did so, EPA will still fine the owner.

In addition, landlords can still be fined even if they prove that their property is free of lead-based paint.  In that case, the EPA will merely “adjust the proposed penalty downward.”

“EPA may adjust the proposed penalty downward by up to 50 percent if the violator provides documentation that clearly demonstrates that the target housing was interior lead-based paint free in accordance with applicable state and/or local requirements at the time the alleged violation occurred,” the policy states.

Pay up, Schmuck – it’s policy.

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Posted in: National