Lead Paint?

Micah Cohen

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 8, 2000
Messages
1,161
The Baltimore City kakistocracy is cracking down on homeowners any way it can (obviously wanting a piece of the pie in the now lucrative inner city regentrification going on), and the latest way is thru massive, punishing lead paint legislation and registration proceedures.

I just got stung: A leasing realtor demanded that I prove my property's compliance with the law, causing me to naively get involved in a confusing bureaucratic mess of payoffs to city bureaus, registration fees, "state accredited" inspectors, expensive tests and more expensive repairs to things that were not broke to begin with. Tooling along, doing business in a quiet honest way with good tenants and beautiful, safe properties... and suddenly this new reg is like getting my foot caught in a meat grinder.

Meanwhile, reports on the EPA's and Baltimore City websites make clear that "lead paint poisoning" is really a non-issue. More people die of lightning strike in Baltimore City than die of anything resembling the non-symtoms attributed to lead poisoning, and the "effects of lead poisoning" could easily be caused by anything else, including "bad parenting"! But The Law is The Law, I guess, especially when it allows the city to add an "extra tax," in effect a "lead paint threat tax" to the city rolls.

Does anyone else living or owning property in an older section of a city deal with this lead paint thing? What can you do (besides complete renovations or board the prop up and sell out -- which maybe explains why there are so many boarded up props in Baltimore City, go figure)? Who do I write complaint letters to? How do I get on the other end of the stick and change this nonsense? Who took MY vote on this issue?

Sorry for the rant.

MC
 

Justin Doring

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 9, 1999
Messages
1,467
Don't you just love governments and bureaucracies both big and small?

Lead paint poisoning is a myth. Unless you're eating paint chips and drinking paint for decades, it will have no effect.
 

KyleS

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 24, 2000
Messages
1,232
Lead Paint is really only a problem when you have children in a house which hasnt been taken care of. The paint is peeling/chipping and kids put anything in their mouths including the lead paint. That being said it seems that people should fight that law if they are forcing you to do it and get a law enacted that states if you are forcing me as an owner to run/pay for the tests only through your agencies then if I pass YOU the state pay for the tests. Would make a quick end to them calling randomly and asking for you to pay for everything.
Similiar law that pisses people off is when cities, states come in and offer you about dick for your property because they want to put something there which will make them money. If you dont take dick they give it to you.

Oregon just passed a law if I am not mistaken that protects land owners from exactly that. Now the govt has to compensate land owners for their property via fair market value and cant condemn your property unless its taken to court.
Bureaucracies can often be a BIG pain in the arse.

Kyle
 

Micah Cohen

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 8, 2000
Messages
1,161
What a day of dealing with this nonsense.
The way I'm figuring to deal with this added tax, is to, unfortunately, pass the expense along to my sellers and leasees -- raise my rents, get my tenants to foot the certification bill before moving in, and demanding certification from a seller BEFORE a sale closes.
It's like, free market is one thing. This is out of control, and it's another example of people who don't work for it, making it.
Any other homeowners dealing with this?
As soon as I get through this, I'm making a personal appointment with my councilman.

MC
 

ken thompson

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 5, 2000
Messages
251
I believe all the EPA requires for the legal clean-up of lead paint is simply to apply a coat of non-lead paint over it. No big deal.
 

Keith Mickunas

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 15, 1998
Messages
2,041
Micah, is this a one time thing or are they asking for money everytime someone new moves in?

I recall having to sign something when I bought a home in Missouri regarding that there could be a problem with lead paint in an older home, however there were no fees involved. There was a specific year in which they made lead paint illegal, so if your property is newer than that it shouldn't be a problem. Of course, they're most likely aware of that.

Unless you're willing to get involved in a lengthy, costly legal battle, you're probably stuck with it, and that's what they're hoping for. Perhaps you can bring it up to the city council, though it probably won't go far unless you can get a lot of owners involved. The one thing politicians want more than a bigger budget is more votes.
 

Todd Hochard

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 24, 1999
Messages
2,312
Lead paint poisoning is a myth.
Like most knee-jerk reactions and subsequent backlashes, the truth is somewhere in the middle.
But, the whole multitude of fees seems silly (and yet typical of local governments). If it's really "all for the children," why isn't just a simple "Lead-Safe Certification" and pay your fee to the inspector, and some simple ($10?) doc stamp to the city/county/whatever for recording purposes?
Oh, wait, I'm trying to make sense here.

I often ponder how much we could achieve, if not for the bureaucracies.
Todd
 

Greg_R

Screenwriter
Joined
Apr 9, 2000
Messages
1,996
Location
Portland, OR
Real Name
Greg
Baltimore has to be one of the most corrupt cities I've lived in. In Portland a new renter or buyer has the option of testing the house (at their expense). If it fails, it's condemned until the paint is removed ($$$). Needless to say, few people get their future houses tested!

Lead paint was a premium paint (smoother than oil based) and was expensive when it was legal. Typically only the nicer homes and buildings would use it (due to cost).
 

Ashley Seymour

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 29, 2000
Messages
938
If it fails, it's condemned until the paint is removed ($$$).
Technically it's not comdemned, but it is declared uninhabitable by the regulatory agency.

Why let the buyer get the inspection? Ask them to sign a section of the lead based paint inspection form that declares that they waive their right to an inspection.

On HUD and VA foreclosure properties, you have the right to get a test and also to test your kids for the presense of elevated levels of lead in their blood. If the buyer requests HUD or VA to clean up and treat the lead the form clearly states that the contract if then void and the buyer can get back their earnest money deposit. The government can make us live up to the high standards and when it comes time for them to comply, they bail.

What is the thing with the lead based paint treatment requirements in Baltimore? Are you prohibited from refusing to treat the lead based paint even if the buyer waives his right to have it removed?
 

Micah Cohen

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 8, 2000
Messages
1,161
What is the thing with the lead based paint treatment requirements in Baltimore? Are you prohibited from refusing to treat the lead based paint even if the buyer waives his right to have it removed?
I can't complete the transaction without the certification, now. I lose the business, because the realtor (rightly, I might add) demands to be covered for the liability, and I may bring lawyers -- boo hiss! -- down on myself! The guy threatened me! I have to pay the city for the registration, prove the registration with a # to the city inspector, then pay him for the test, then pay again to fix anything they "find." Etc.
Lead paint poisoning is a myth. It's a simple rob Peter to pay Paul situation. I've read the reports. The numbers are so tiny, and the symptoms are so... amorphous... That it really could be anything. There's lead in the air we breath, the cars we drive, the smog we suck in hungrily, even the veggies we buy at our local "Whole Foods" market. It's just a part of our environment. Blaming it for... Aw, it's pointless. You can skew the stats to prove or provide for any damn thing! I could say OXYGEN causes the same symptoms as "elevated lead" and dredge up a bunch of stats to prove it... Start my own O2 LIABILITY TAX!
Baltimore City is quite corrupt. I don't understand how people put up with it -- don't we vote these scum bags out of office, ever? I certainly do. They must have huge segments of the uninformed unwashed bamboozled into voting for them every election.
Everyone suffers from something like this: the community, the houses (this why people board up and move out, because the regs are too idiotic to keep up with!), the tenants (higher rents, as when I pass the cost along!), and ME, the small businessperson/investor, who gets really sad and can't sleep at night and thus is not a very good citizen all the time.
And last night, I'm cleaning my basement up (from a recent renovation, putting tools back and stuff) and I noticed... That my basement is going to be a prime candidate for loads of "lead paint" problems when I finally move out of the city and turn my old house into a rental. God, I got so depressed over it that I just sat *PLOP* right down on my ass on the floor like a sad little kid in the sandbox.

I need a drink. I would never wish this kind of gov't intrusion on anyone. (And believe me, I'm ALL FOR gov't intrusion where it's needed!)
MC
 

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