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MARTHA, DON’T PEE ON MY LEG AND TELL ME IT’S RAINING! (A DISCUSSION ON LEAD PAINT LAWS)

I recently posted on Linkedin a press release by the Attorney General of MA bragging about making a landlord pay them and the tenant and their lawyer $75,000. My commentary was: “Can you be made to pay $75,000 for someone else’s mistake if you are a property owner in MA?“. It generated a lot of comments from a bunch of home inspectors who thought that the status quo was just fine and that the landlord was punished appropriately. 

 

A Press Release by the Attorney General of MA

For Immediate Release – February 27, 2013

Boston Area Landlord to Pay $75,000 and Delead Units to Resolve Fair Housing Lawsuit

Largest Fair Housing Settlement with Property Owner to Date Under AG Coakley

BOSTON A Boston area property owner has agreed to pay $75,000 and delead his rental units, resolving allegations that he engaged in a pattern of unlawful and retaliatory practices against tenants with young children in order to avoid his obligation to comply with state lead paint laws, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.

The consent judgment, entered in Suffolk Superior Court on Tuesday, resolves a fair housing complaint filed in February 2011 against Keith L. Miller, of Newton, who at the time owned and managed at least 24 residential rental units in Chelsea, Newton, Arlington, and Brighton. This is the largest fair housing settlement with a landlord that has been reached under AG Coakley.

“In a rental market as large as Greater Boston’s, it’s important that tenants know their rights and that landlords follow the law,” AG Coakley said. “This settlement demonstrates that there are serious consequences for landlords who would sacrifice public safety to save a few dollars.”

In February 2012, the AG’s Office expanded its case against Miller, after learning of additional claims by tenants of the landlord’s bullying tactics and discriminatory behavior. The amended complaint alleged that Miller evicted, or threatened to evict, tenants with young children, rented apartments containing lead paint to tenants with young children, failed to remove lead hazards in those apartments, failed to provide proper notice of lead hazards to his tenants, made misrepresentations regarding the presence of lead paint in his apartments, and refused to repair unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

More recently, the AG’s Office obtained summary judgment for claims that Miller failed to abate lead hazards, failed to provide proper notice of lead hazards, and that he illegally attempted to charge tenants for water use.  The court held that those violations constituted violations of the state’s Consumer Protection Act as well.

The consent judgment, together with an agreement to dismiss outstanding claims against Miller, extends the preliminary injunction obtained from the court in March 2012 for five additional years, requiring Miller to remove lead paint hazards from his units, if children under six are residing in them, to refrain from discriminating against tenants, and to not retaliate against his tenants for complaining about unsafe conditions, including by giving the AG’s Office notice of any eviction proceedings he initiates against his tenants.

In addition to the payment and the extension of the preliminary injunction, the settlement requires that Miller:

Delead a three-unit rental property in Arlington, upon the vacancy of the current tenants;

  • Obtain certificates of habitability prior to the commencement of any new tenancies;
  • Advise the Attorney General’s Office of newly-acquired properties and the lead status of those units;
  • Direct all employees engaged in the rental or management of his properties to receive fair housing training; and
  • Provide the Attorney General’s Office with notice of claims of discrimination made against him.

Under federal and state fair housing laws, it is illegal to discriminate against an individual or family seeking housing because of a person’s race, color, religion, sex, familial status (e.g. children or marital status), national origin, or handicap/disability.  These laws also prohibit discrimination in advertising, public housing, and actions taken by landlords, realtors, mortgage lenders and brokers.  Massachusetts laws also require disclosure of lead paint history, abatement of lead paint hazards in units in which children under the age of six are present, and prohibit landlords from retaliating against tenants who assert their rights under the lead paint laws.

This matter was handled by Jonathan Miller, Chief of AG Coakley’s Civil Rights Division, and Joshua Jacobson, an Assistant Attorney General in AG Coakley’s Civil Rights Division.

Landlord Tenant

 

David Dodge (My Home Inspector.Biz) • I’m sure the guy wasn’t legit aka a slum lord preying on the less fortunate.

Elmir Simov • My point was that lead paint was legal and approved by the state when those buildings were painted. Later lead paint became illegal. Is the state to blame or is this landlord to blame for lead paint when he was most likely in high school when lead paint became illegal. My point is that landlords today should not carry the cost of removing or covering lead paint. The costs should be carried by MA and the lead paint manufacturers. Why do landlords have to remove lead paint? We had nothing to do with it. We are paying for the misdeeds if other people

James Quarello • Elmir, So your solution is to make the removal of lead paint from privately owned buildings a public burden?
When real property is purchased, a lead paint disclosure is part of the process, at least in CT. Lead paint is well known and documented in the real estate industry. If you purchase buildings, dwellings that could potentially contain lead paint, YOU are responsible, not the State or the manufacture’s. The same is true for any other hazards that may be present in the property YOU purchase. Finding out potential issues with a property is call performing YOUR due diligence.

Elmir Simov • Yes, the State should fully subsidize the addressing of this particular hazard because they were responsible for causing it. Landlords should not be burdened with strict liability for lead paint. Right now the state only assumes partial responsibly and subsidizes only $1,500 per unit. That is not enough. Last year I had to side a house because it had lead paint and it cost me $30,000. The state will pay $9,000 and I am in effect stuck with paying $21,000 for a mistake that someone else did. In addition we are being sued for lead paint. That is absurd.

Dan Cullen • Why should my tax dollars be spent on remediating the property that the landlord owns, manages, and makes profit from? If you believe the state is responsible then shouldn’t the state take ownership of the rental dwellings? In the end, it’s about the health of the children. If it eats into the rental profits then, IMHO, so be it. I own 2 multi-family properties built before 1978 and I take full responsibility for the IAQ in them.

James Quarello • The state was not responsible for causing it. The mistakes are YOURS. You should know about the presence of lead paint. Funny you decry regulation and government spending and yet when it suits you, you seem more than happy to take tax payer money to increase your profits. Seems a bit hypocritical to me.

Elmir Simov • Dan, why should tax dollars be spent on 2 wars, bailing out rich private banks and insurance companies (AIG)? Why should tax dollars be spent on anything? We are all concerned about the health of our children. The question is who put our children in danger and who should pay for it or be sued for it.

Elmir Simov • James, first, I am not against regulation. Second, it is one thing to know about lead paint and another thing to be sued over lead paint. This landlord had to pay $75,000 over a problem that wasn’t even caused by him. Just because the State washed their hands and transferred financial responsibility to a private business doesn’t mean that it is right. Landlords should not carry strict liability for lead paint and the State should refund in tax credits all cost associated with fixing lead paint. The landlords can fix it but not for almost free.

James Quarello • You own the property you are responsible for it, period. I have absolutely no sympathy for the man. Ignorance of the issue is no excuse. Again lead is a well know issue in real estate.

Elmir Simov • James, I believe that there are 2 things that need to happen. First, The $1500 MA deleading credit per unit should be increased to cover the actual cost if deleading. If the State has the balls then they can go after the Manufacturers who sold a poisonous product. Second, landlords should not be held in Strict Liability for lead paint.

James Quarello • Again you want to use public money, tax dollars, so that landlords can increase their profits and avoid being responsible for a well known and documented issue. Further you want the State to use more public money in the courts to put the burden of paying for the remediation of lead paint on the manufacturers so that those same property owners can again profit. What I see here is a view point that is blinded by simple greed and unwillingness to accept one’s responsibility.

Elmir Simov • James, you are not arguing against the fact that Landlords did not cause the lead paint to be there because you can’t argue with that fact. So it is surprising to me that somehow you jump logically to the faulty logic that even though they did not cause it they somehow must pay for it not only to the extent of the rent they collected but also they can be sued for much more than the rent.
Let me try to give you an example. Lets say you bought a car from the dealership so you can go to work so you can make money and it was determined to contain lead paint and it was also determined that lead paint in cars could be detrimental to your passengers. Who should pay the bill to remove the paint – the dealer/manufacturer, the State that allowed it or you?

James Quarello • Speaking of leaps of logic. Your example has no merit simply because you are not making a fair comparison. If I were to buy something that was unbeknownst to me to have a hazardous condition, then of course I should not be held accountable for its repair. You fail to acknowledge the fact that lead paint is and has been a well known and documented hazard. In spite of that FACT, you still argue landlords should not be held accountable for its presence or remediation in their privately owned properties.
Were they not made aware of lead paint when they purchased those properties? Were they not aware there is a hazard associated with lead paint? Were they not aware there is a cost associated with remediation of lead? And were they not aware of their responsibilities as landlords with regard to the safety of their dwellings?

Elmir Simov • I am glad that you agree with me that if you buy some property and you don’t know there is lead paint in it then you should not be held accountable. Unfortunately Strict Lisbility is exactly that – you are responsible even if you didn’t know about the lead paint. How would you feel if you bought a used car and then forced to pay $75,000 extra because one of your passengers was allowed by law to sue you even if you did not know about the lead, did not cause the lead, etc?

James Quarello • Elmir, Are you serious!? Not know about lead paint. Manufacture in the US was stopped in 1978. That’s 35 years ago. Again your logic is incongruous. We are not debating the same points. You also keep going back to the same argument and refuse to answer the points I made about disclosure and ultimate responsibility. Good luck to you beating that dead horse.

Wes Grant • Very Simple here, the landlord should do his due diligence. ANY competent real estate investor or broker/landlord would know that any building built prior to 1979 probably has lead paint. If you wish to proceed with the purchase of such a property, than the investor MUST accept full financial responsibility for any issues that would be common knowledge for that particular purchase. That kind of thought process where we ask the government to pay for any and all mistakes made in the past is what creates a socialist welfare state or where the Rich get richer while the poor get poorer scenario. If we were to expect the government to pay for all misdeeds they have created, we would be paying billions of dollars to repay American Indians for the atrocities reaped on them throughout history and can you imagine the billions more we would need to pay for slavery? Where do we draw the line? I don’t know you Mr. Simov, but your argument IMHO has no merit and quite honestly is greedy, which again is a big part of what got our Country into the mess we are still trying to dig out of. If you don’t see the value in the property at the price you are buying it for (including the cost of any clean up or potential cleanups) than simply do not buy it, but please don’t buy a property and expect welfare help while you play golf at the country club.

Elmir Simov • Wes,
First, I don’t play golf and second, I don’t think it is greedy to ask the Government to compensate the Indians or the Slaves in some way or another. But that is a much more abstract topic than Lead Paint. Besides there is no danger that if you buy land or a farm today, some Indian or a descendent of a slave would sue you. In the case of Lead Paint there is a real danger that if you buy a house in MA that contains lead paint someone would sue you. That is what I am against.

Let’s review the facts here: A landlord comes along and buys a product (a house) but the product is defective. The house has Lead Paint. The Landlord who bought the defective product did not cause the defect. The defect was caused 35 years ago by the Manufacturer of Lead Paint who sold the public a poisonous product and the State that approved that poisonous product to be sold.

Presumably the fact that this is a defective product should be already reflected in the price, in an ideal world. For example the house costs 70K with the defect and $100k if the defect is removed. But that is not always the case and it is really impossible to tell. That is where the problem lies. If you buy a 3-family house for $250K without lead paint certificates does the price already reflect that you have to spend another 30K if you want to get Letters of Deleading or does it not reflect that?

All houses in MA build before 1978 have lead paint. Do you think their prices dropped 30K the day it was realized that they have a defect – that Lead Paint is dangerous? Of course not.

It seems to me that if you buy a defective product you should be able to go after the people who made it defective. The injustice comes from the fact that tenants can sue us but we can’t sue the people who caused the defect.
Here is the bottom line: We are being sold defective products that we cannot rent unless we fix the defect. We cannot sue the people who caused the defect. They acknowledge responsibility but are contributing only about 20% of what it costs us to eliminate the defect. My point is they should be paying us more. I think they should be paying us 100%. If we rent the defective product “as is” and someone gets injured then they can sue us for a lot more than the rent they paid. We are not even talking about lead poisoning here. In the case of this landlord, he was made to pay $75,000 when NO ONE WAS POISONED.

What is more we are not allowed to make them sign a release that they are renting it “as is”. If we do we are forced to pay $75,000. That is unfair. We are not allowed to not ask if the house has lead paint or not. If we don’t ask or do not spend a $1,000 to hire a licensed lead paint inspector to tell us, then we are still liable under the concept of Strict Liability and forced to pay $75,000.That’s unfair. We are not allowed to charge a discounted rent reflecting the defect of the product. If we do we are forced to pay $75,000. That is unfair. We are not allowed to say “This product is defective. Don’t buy it”. If we do we are forced to pay $75,000. That’s unfair. We are not allowed to say “This product is defective but I have another product that is not defective”. If we do say that we are forced to pay $75,000. That is unfair. We are not allowed to say “When you moved in this product was not defective but now it is because now that you have a child this apartment has lead paint and this could be dangerous to your child.” If we say that then we are forced to pay $75,000 and that is unfair.
The reason I highlighted this article is because I thought that the Atty General of MA is getting overly aggressive with the Big Bad Landlords of MA who everyone loves to hate without realizing that landlords profits are only about 10% of the rents (if the landlord collects $100,000 his “salary” is about $10,000/year) and when no one is even asking the question anymore: “Who caused the defect in that product and who should pay for this defect getting fixed”?

Marc-Andre Beauchemin,BMAinspectionservicesimmoCMI • The important word here is not illegal, it is danger! Dangerous for the health. Lead in food or toys is not acceptable in any circumstance.

James Quarello • Elmir, From the news story, it sounds like this particular landlord had a list of fair housing violations. He was in essence fined and now has to make his properties safe.
You continue to go on about defective product and who should pay, yet you can not or simply will not accept that the buyer of those properties is responsible for their up keep and safety. They knew their was lead paint in those building and made the choice to purchase them knowing that.
I can tell you this; it’s not mine or any other citizen’s responsibility for lead issues in those buildings. Remember when you say the “government” that is tax payer money. I’ll be damned if I should pay for a landlords lead paint issues.

Wes Grant • Elmir, I did not have anything to do with slavery and nothing to do with Indians being mistreated (i have Cherokee blood in my line, albeit very small percentage), yet i would not think it fair for me to pay restitution for the crimes against them. I have rental property which was built before 1978 and know that even in the South, there is lead paint on the walls, I knew that going in and that is my point. If you don’t think the purchase price is fair considering the cost of clean up or removal of the lead paint (that you know is there if built before 78), simply don’t buy the property and than your argument will be a mute point. Any time we ask the government to “pay” for something, it’s the tax payers, you and I, that will eventually get the bill. You keep talking about the government or lead manufacturers being the bad guys and they probably are in this case, yet you and the other investors buying properties have the power…….you don’t have to buy it! If your ROI will not be sufficient to offset cost of any cleanup, DON’T BUY IT! But please, don’t ask the taxpayer to once again “pony up the dough”.

Elmir Simov • Marc-Andre, thank you for bringing up that point which I had forgotten to mention. Under the current draconian Strict Liability Lead Paint Law in MA the landlords are automatically assumed to be liable even if the child got poisoned by lead toys, jewelry, soil or water. If the child lived at the house it is assumed that the landlord is liable. No one is even asking how the child got poisoned? Was it from the lead paint or was it from any of these other things. That is unfair. That’s my whole point.

Elmir Simov • Wes, you had nothing to do with Slavery and Indians and I had nothing to do with houses being painted with lead paint 50 years ago. That’s my point.

You guys are so concerned with “ponying up the dough” that you skip over my other point.

First point is, yes, that the Government should assume responsibility for public safety and protecting its citizens from lead paint poisoning rather than transfer that responsibility to private businesses. The Government took responsibility for 9/11 and spend tons of your “dough” to protect its citizens better including paying for 2 wars. The Government took responsibility for its failure to regulate credit default swaps and banks in general and spent tons of your “dough” to protect its citizens from its own short-sightedness. The Government has an obligation to protect people from getting poisoned from lead paint ( which the Government failed to regulate and allowed it to be sold legally for decades) rather than burden private businesses with its own job – public safety. But that is only one of my points.

The other point is that the Strict Liability Law is simply un-American and it should be modified and softened. I was outraged by the fact that this landlord (a private business) was pushed most likely into bankruptcy by having to pay $75,000 and no one was even poisoned with lead paint. Here is the AG Press Release again http://www.mass.gov/ago/news-and-updates/press-releases/2013/2013-02-27-miller-cj.html. His only crime seems to be that he threatened to evict, did not provide notices to tenants about the existence of lead paint and refused to spend the money maybe because he did not have it to delead. There are serious violent crimes out there that are fined less than $75,000. The fine is draconian, excessive. The guy had nothing to do with Lead Paint done 50 years ago, Also keep in mind that everybody knows that old buildings may have lead paint and that includes the tenants. Shouldn’t the parents carry some personal responsibility as well? My point is the law and penalties are too excessive. Keep in mind that a lot of tenants stop paying rent when they run out of money for the rent AND THEN they claim that the reason they stopped paying is because they are living in a house that has lead paint which they should have known. If you ask them to leave at that point then you are engaging in Retaliation and Discrimination and have to pay them $75,000. What is that all about? That is my second point and you are missing it.

Wes Grant • Elmir, if there are issues with the property up to and including lead paint, YOU HAVE THE POWER…….DON’T PURCHASE THE PROPERTY!

Elmir Simov • That’s not the point, Wes, but I see how you would never agree with anything I say because you are a house inspector and your living depends in having defects to find and report. Best of luck.

Steve Gaudet • Interesting, 1st mistake was not looking into what you as a landlord are responsible for. Second, mistake was owning property in Mass. Mass is the most corrupt state in the union. Left 30 yrs ago and never looked back.

Third mistake, hire a management company to handle all your rental properties. They know the rules. The more you distance yourself from these properties the better off you are. I’ve owned rental properties since 2000, all managed, checks come in every month.

Elmir Simov • Steve, I wasn’t talking about myself. I have not made any of those mistakes. I delead all my buildings and follow the law as unfair and absurd as I think it is. I was simply exercising my freedom of speech to say that I think the lead paint law were enacted by the Perpetrator itself – the State transferring its responsibilities to a private business. How would you like being placed in jail for something someone else did? Not cool, right? The state have made “not deleading” a criminal offense. Landlords can be literally put in jail. In this case I was talking about a landlord who even though was not put in jail his business was ruined most likely (by the way, a landlord who owns 24 units does not have enough profits to hire a maintenance company) by being pressured by the Atty General of MA to settle for $75,000 when to the best of my knowledge all he did was say to the tenant “I don’t believe you are not paying the rent because you had no idea the building had lead paint so either pay the rent or leave or if you are so concerned about lead paint I have another unit without lead paint where you can move because I don’t have the money to delead this building right now”. And for that he was made to pay $75,000? That’s just absurd.

Marc-Andre Beauchemin,BMAinspectionservicesimmoCMI • Elmir, I am not an alarmist and although no house is perfect for everyone, it is not true that my living depends on finding defects. We educate our clients on the conditions of the properties. For your information I am a Broker, a home owner, a parent with kids and you are right that I am a Certified Master Inspector. I cannot see how my opinion cannot be taken into account. I voiced my opinion. To me, health is more important and I tell it the way it is. Mistakes are made, bad paints have been disposed of. If an accident is preventable, I try to help prevent it. I do give the right time of day. Everyone must be responsible.

Wes Grant • Elmir, if you want to make this personal, i can go that way, but i would rather not. Like you I am stating my opinion. It is NOT my job to find defects, it is my job to report on the as is condition of a property. I have had properties owned by greedy, welfare seeking slum lords where we found 40 or more defects, and i have found properties that had only one or two defects which may have been very minor. YOU will never agree with anyone unless they agree with your points, that is very clear. You came to the wrong site for Yes men, friend. The government does not owe you anything. If you are doing it the right way, great, quit trying to make an argument for government subsidization, I don’t think you will find the support or the “yes” answer you are obviously looking for in this location and I respectfully agree to disagree.

Elmir Simov • I am not looking for an “yes” and I am not looking for any kind of subsidation. I just want the Government to pay for its own mistakes rather than conveniently pass a law to transfer its responsibility to private business and allow those business’s to be sued for $75,000 or go to jail. As far as you being Home Inspectors I was surprised at the opposition to my quite logical and reasonable statements and I found my answer. That’s all. Best of luck, guys.

Wes Grant • Then it’s been a productive day for us all Elmir.

Steve Gaudet • Elmir, Mass is anti-business, anti-worker. If you noticed the governator mini-me wants to reduce sales tax and increase payroll tax to 6%. Why, simple, the people on entitlement will not be effected. However, the working class will.
This law suit is just another example of that bad working class rich guy…must pay more, fees, fines, taxes and have less rights.

Christopher Feroli • Elmir, As a licensed Home Inspector in the state of MA I know that whenever I inspect a property built before 1978 I inform my clients of the potential danger of lead paint and now the agents are required to give the buyers the new lead paint regulations for removing or remediation. This landlord refused to do his due dilligence and bought the property with the express intent on making a profit. He knowingly rented these units to people with children and took thier rent payments every month. Now its time to pony up and pay for what he should have paid for when the property was bought. Typical, I made a mistake and now let the government or the paint manufacturer pay so that it doesnt effect the landlords bottom line. He is either a slumlord that knowingly put his tenents in a dangerous situation or a blithering idiot who went into a major purchase without doing his research. Either way as a tax payer I don’t feel that I should pay for HIS building so HE can make more money from unsuspecting tenents. Whats next, if he goes to Vegas and bets all his money in a card game should the card manufacturer or maybe the guy who made the chair he was sitting in pay when he loses.

Elmir Simov • It is funny to me that you are all home inspectors and you are all coming out against everything I had to say. I don’t think that is a coincidence.

H Stuart Brooks • No it isn’t coincidence. We are all plotting to get you and wreak havoc with slum lords in general. “Caveat Emptor”

Alan Senter • I too am a “Property Inspector” and I agree with some of what you are saying. I also have owned and rented a few properties as well. I fail to see what the “governments mistakes” are in your statement. It was the construction industry that came up with, what was at the time a sensible product to “better the standards of living” (and make a healthy profit!). I too follow that path, perhaps to my eventual destruction.

It seems that this particular situation could have been avoided by handing out some simple informational pamphlets (as stated by the landlord in subject) – it seems pretty unfair when viewed from that perspective. Did I read this right that he was paying $75K for lead abatement? That’s not a terrible end, it will hopefully raise the value of the property (maybe not by that much though).

I find that as you stated, most landlords can’t afford to bring all properties up to “current industry standards”. I found it too costly, my father finds it too costly, and many landlords find it too costly as well. I also find that most real estate investors are more interested in the bottom line, leading many into buying properties that appear to “cash flow” but they truly can’t afford (myself included).

Unfortunately when we take ownership (the right to use and enjoy) of a property, we assume liability of all of its benefits and pitfalls. No, you & i didn’t put the lead paint there, or the asbestos, or put the moisture there that caused settling & movement, etc., but we have taken ownership (responsibility) of the property and its conditions – for better and worse (NOT til death do us part…)

It is our own responsibility to know what we are purchasing whether we like it or not. That is part of why a good inspection is important, an appraisal is required, an attorney is often recommended, etc. It’s my responsibility to know what I eat too, right? Is McDonalds going to pay for my health care in my elder years (perhaps a bit with taxes paid…). I am all for taking control (responsibility) of what I eat, build, buy, etc.

P.S. I am paid to deliver thorough, detailed and accurate information to my clients. My business does NOT depend on finding “defects” in properties but I receive a superior income by helping people know how to protect and maintain their investments – “One Neighbor At A Time”. This often means pointing out the fact that mold, asbestos and lead paint may need to be “abated” according to the local government requirements. Most experienced investors are already aware of that but they love to be reminded when I send them a report.

Have fun out there, and please keep upgrading your properties!!!
Alan

Alan Senter • Funny statement Stuart! 🙂

Elmir Simov • Sorry, I thought was living in America but I must be wrong. I thought it was ok to hold Government responsible when they screw up. If you get imprisoned for 20 years and it turns out you were innocent, I thought you should be compensated. If a cop hits you with his car, I thought the Government should compensate you. If your child gets killed by cigarettes, I thought you should get paid by someone other than the person who purchased the convenience store that sold cigarettes. In the case of cigarettes the Government paid many victims and then aggressively sued the cigarette manufacturers and then distributed all the settlements it received from those lawsuits. Alternatively some people sued the cigarette manufacturers directly which is also fine. I thought that if your child got poisoned by lead paint you should get compensated by someone other than the person who bought the building 35 years after the lead paint was applied. The lead paint victims should be compensated by a combination of the State and the Lead Paint Manufacturers. Instead, the State in this case quickly passed a cowardly law making a third party that had nothing to do with the lead paint not only pay for it to be removed but also get sued for the injuries it causes. Sorry, my mistake.

Elmir Simov • Alan, the Lead Paint industry was selling a product in order to make a healthy profit as you said but it turned out that it was a poisonous product. They are the ones who should be sued. The responsibility of the States lie in the fact that they allowed that poisonous product to pass their internal inspections and to be sold for too long.

No, the $75,000 is not the cost to delead. It is just a settlement money that the Big Bad Landlord must pay TO the State? Do you get the irony?

And my other point was that even if this Landlord should be fined for his “crimes” of not giving a notification to the tenant and asking them to get out for not paying their rent, the fine should have been about $74,000 less than what it is. This penalty is so excessive that it can destroy a business. Keep in mind that no one even claimed that they were poisoned in this case.

 

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