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Attorney General Resolves Claim Against Lyndonville Landlord For Filing False Lead Paint Compliance Document

CONTACT: Robert F. McDougall, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-5507

November 9, 2009

Landlord Dennis Laferriere will pay the State of Vermont $10,000.00 in civil penalties for the filing of a false lead paint compliance document for a Lyndonville property as a part of a settlement with the Office of Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrell. Laferriere also agreed to bring the property into compliance with the lead law by November 30th.

“Unfortunately, this case is the fifth brought by my Office this year that concerns the filing of false lead law compliance documents,” said Attorney General Sorrell. “It is our hope that landlords will be truthful and accurate on all lead law filings with the State and that there will be fewer cases like this in the future.”

Vermont’s lead law requires that essential maintenance practices (known as EMPs) be performed in all rental housing built before 1978. A Compliance Statement certifying completion of EMPs must be submitted annually to the Department of Health, to the owner’s insurance carrier, and to all tenants of the property.

The State alleged that Laferriere filed compliance paperwork for the property with the Department of Health in June 2008. Inspections by the Department of Health revealed that the EMPs were not properly completed at the property and that the representations in the filing were not accurate. The State also alleged that Laferriere was currently in violation of the lead law for failing to file compliance paperwork in 2009. The State claimed that his current failure to comply with the lead law was a violation of a previous agreement he entered into with the Department of Health in 2008.
“We know that most Vermont landlords want to follow the law and do what it requires,” said Attorney General Sorrell. “It is encouraging to see that awareness of the Vermont lead law appears to be on the rise and the filing of compliance statements state-wide is up. False filing cases like this should remind landlords that the State takes lead law compliance seriously.”

For information concerning the duties of owners, managers, and sellers of pre-1978 housing, and for copies of court documents from recent enforcement actions involving lead, see the Attorney General’s website at: www.atg.state.vt.us and click on “Lead.”

  Website consulting provided by The National Association of Attorneys General.