My wife and I are going to begin managing (i.e. finding tenants for and being the tenants' main contact) for several rental units that my FIL owns. His health no longer lets him do this. We currently own and manage two of our own units.
While going over his contract, I suggested adding in a lead disclosure statement; he doesn't want to, because he's never done that in the 60 years he's been renting out units. Most of his units were built before 1978.
My question is, as the official property managers, would we be legally in the line of fire if a tenant decides to sue because they didn't receive the lead disclosure and their child now has asthma?
Its mandatory. Your FIL is in violation of regulations for lead paint disclosures that went into effect in 1996. You must give new tenants the booklet and fill out and get signatures from both landlord and tenant on the form.
Yes, your FIL is at risk for failure to comply with this law.
as Jon stated, it is a very big deal to not give them out. If you are taking over as PM then you would be liable. I would give them out to all new tenants and try to get the current tenants to sign one too
If you do not follow EPA rules and regulations regarding properties built before 1978 you could be opening yourself up to substantial fines and penalties.
If a child were to come down with lead poisoning and you did not follow EPA rules and regulations and provide the proper documentation or use EPA certified contractors when required you can be opening up yourself to a multi-million dollar lawsuit.
I would encourage you to familiarize yourself with all EPA rules regarding lead-based paint disclosure and learn which repairs have to be handled by EPA certified contractors, before handling any properties built before 1978
Thanks; that's what I figured. I've done that with our 2 units (thanks in large part to what I've learned in these forums), but since he's never done it that way, he doesn't want to change. I'll make sure the tenants get the pamphlet and sign the disclosures.
but since he's never done it that way, he doesn't want to change.
When I moved to Texas in the early 80's it was perfectly legal to grab a cold one and drink it on the drive home. Then they changed the laws. Folks who didn't comply suffered the penalties for driving with an open container. The fact it had previously been legal was irrelevant. Same with your FIL. He's gotten away with operating illegally for almost two decades. As @Kevin Knight points out the potential penalties are very, very serious. As in "mess up the rest of your life" serious. You should get the units into compliance ASAP.
Thanks, Jon! That's a great analogy! I don't know why he's so stubborn about this. Other than that he's almost 80.
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