Manchester landlords settle lead case

Landlords William and Johanna Morin have agreed to pay a fine and take action to reduce the risk of lead poisoning at apartment buildings they own in Manchester.

The settlement, announced yesterday, resolves U.S. Environmental Protection Agency claims that the Morins violated lead paint disclosure laws at their rental properties in the Queen City.

Under the settlement, the Morins will pay a $4,035 fine and will abate lead-based paint hazards on exterior, multi-level decks at five apartment buildings. The lead abatement projects will cost approximately $40,000, EPA said.

The violations were identified during an investigation that EPA began in August 2005, and were included in a complaint filed in March 2006. The agency claimed that the Morins did not comply with federal laws that require property owners, managers and sellers to provide information about lead-based paint present in housing built before 1978.

The agency said that once the Morins learned of the requirements of the lead disclosure laws during EPA’s investigation, they took prompt action to comply and worked cooperatively with EPA to reach a speedy settlement.

Under terms of the settlement, the Morins agreed to enclose exterior, multilevel decks presumed to be finished with lead-based paint at the five properties. The buildings were all constructed before 1920. – JEFF FEINGOLD

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