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Early in 2015, FHA/HUD announced a settlement with a Rockford, Illinois landlord to resolve a claim he failed to inform tenants, some with young children, that their homes may contain potentially dangerous lead.

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News and Updates for Homeowners

Home Loan Standards for Lead Hazards

January 15, 2016 - Earlier in 2015, FHA/HUD ran a press release  announcing a settlement in a case involving lead hazards in Illinois rental properties. While this may seem to be an issue that doesn’t directly affect many typical FHA home loan applicants, the case is an important reminder of why it is so important to report issues connected with violations of fair housing laws, hazardous conditions in housing, and related issues.

According to an FHA/HUD press release, (HUDNo. 15-151) the Department of Housing and Urban Development, “announced a settlement with a Rockford, Illinois landlord to resolve a claim he failed to inform tenants, some with young children, that their homes may contain potentially dangerous lead.”

That agreement requires the landlord to replace windows and clean up lead‑based paint hazards found “in 50 rental properties containing a total of 52 units...”

HUD alleges that the landlord violated the Federal Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act by, “failing to inform tenants that their homes may contain potentially dangerous levels of lead. Winnebago County health department officials identified at least seven children with elevated blood lead levels in the properties Hardesty leased. Investigations by the health department identified lead‑based paint and lead-based paint hazards in the units.”

Lead poisoning in the home is, “entirely preventable but it requires all of us to recognize that we share a responsibility to protect our vulnerable populations, especially young children who are still developing, said Matt Ammon, Director of HUDs Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes, who was quoted in the press release.

He adds, “Landlords of homes built before 1978 have a legal responsibility to make their tenants aware of lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards they know about or that may be in their homes so that tenants can protect their families.”

The FHA/HUD official site reminds residents and landlords that the “Lead Disclosure Rule” requires home sellers and landlords of housing, “built before 1978 to disclose to purchasers and potential tenants knowledge of lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards using a disclosure form, signed by both parties, attached to the sales contract or lease containing the required lead warning statement, provide any available records or reports, and provide an EPA-approved Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home information pamphlet.”

All this affects the rental market, but the FHA and HUD also have rules that apply to home sales. From the press release:

“Sellers must also provide purchasers with an opportunity to conduct a lead-based paint inspection and/or risk assessment at the purchaser’s expense. Acceptable lead disclosure forms can be found at www.hud.gov/offices/lead/dislcosurerule and www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/leadbase.htm.”

Home sales transactions are definitely affected by FHA/HUD rules about lead hazards, and it’s good to be aware of rights and responsibilities in this area.