Lee Wasserman, Lew Corporation
Attention all affordable housing property managers. You may be in violation of your Federal HUD Contract! LEW Corp., being a nationally respected expert with nationwide clients, has observed an increase in federal lead-based paint enforcement. Several of our clients who own and/or manage multifamily residential properties have received enforcement letters from HUD and EPA. Specifically, the letters state, “In accordance with your HUD contract, you should have documentation available showing you have maintained compliance with the Lead Disclosure Rule (Sec.1018), the Lead Safe Housing Rule (LSHR 24 CFR Part 35) and the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP 40 CFR Part 745).
In addition to your federal EPA lead-based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) compliance responsibilities, such as becoming a certified firm, certified supervisor, occupant protection, work practices and cleanup, all of which need to be documented, your HUD contract states, “The LSHR requires dust wipe clearance testing and tenant notification of the results, which are more protective than RRP. This new knowledge must be included in the disclosure at the next lease renewal or new lease.” As quoted from a June 9th
and a July 27th
letter from HUD to two property management entities.
Fines, violations, the time involved, the negative press associated, and the potential litigation that can arise due to lack of compliance can be substantial! According to our experience, a large percent of affordable housing managers are, to some degree not in compliance with their federal lead based paint responsibilities. Before you get audited, questioned or receive a letter like the above two management entities did, find out where you stand with your regulatory compliance. Just a few questions that you may be asked are:
1. Does this property currently have in its physical possession a certification from a state licensed lead-based paint evaluation firm that states the property is lead-based paint free?
2. Are all of your staff who disturb painted surfaces properly trained in lead safe work practices?
3. If you disturb painted surfaces on your property are you sure the person who is responsible for the paint disturbance project is an EPA certified lead safe renovator supervisor?
4. Each time someone disturbs a painted surface of greater than a Di Minimis amount do you have lead dust wipe samples collected by a properly certified practitioner and are those sample results recorded and maintained for 3 years?
If you could become completely exempt from all, if not, most of the Federal obligations of the above lead-based paint laws with nominal effort and minimal cost in a reasonable period of time would you be interested?
Lee Wasserman is the president of LEW Corporation, Mountainside, N.J.