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Attorney General Continues Effort To Reduce Lead Hazards In Vermont Rental Housing

CONTACT: Robert F. McDougall, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-5479

July 26, 2011

Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrell announced today that letters have been sent to fourteen Rutland landlords requesting that all of their rental housing be brought into compliance with Vermont's lead law. The Rutland letters mark the latest effort in the Attorney General's ongoing campaign to reduce exposure to lead hazards in rental housing across the state.

"Because Vermont has one of the oldest housing stocks in the country, it is imperative that landlords take necessary steps to reduce the risks of lead exposure for their tenants," said Attorney General Sorrell. "Our hope is that by bringing this issue to the attention of these landlords, we can work together to get the properties into compliance quickly and make renting in Vermont a safer experience for everyone."

Vermont's lead law requires all landlords with properties built before 1978 to perform annual maintenance tasks, including repairing peeling paint and cleaning common spaces. The law was passed in response to growing concern over the high rates of lead poisoned children in the state, as well as the significant amount of rental housing containing lead paint. Landlords who receive the Attorney General's letter will have 90 days to bring their property into compliance with the law.

Since 2008, the Attorney General's Office has sent letters to noncompliant landlords in 11 of Vermont's 14 counties, including larger areas of Burlington, Barre, Winooski, and other cities. Noncompliance letters were last sent to Rutland landlords in December of 2008. In the past five years, the amount of EMP compliance filings has increased 280%, nearly doubling the overall rate of compliance state-wide. Nevertheless, a significant number of properties remain out of compliance.

For more information on the Vermont lead law and enforcement actions under the law, see the Lead section of the Attorney General's website at http://www.atg.state.vt.us.

  Website consulting provided by The National Association of Attorneys General.