Until 1978, many homes and businesses were constructed or renovated with paint containing lead. Lead is an element that has been found to cause many health problems, especially in children. In children, lead can impair brain development, as well as renal function and the nervous system. Considering these risks, the U.S. federal government banned the use of lead paint in 1978 for new construction projects. Both states and the federal government have been making efforts over the past four decades to eliminate lead-based paint from homes and businesses, using both positive incentives and negative consequences to encourage property owners to remove lead-based paint.
A recently published news report discusses three lawsuits filed by the State of Rhode Island against property owners who have failed to remove lead paint from their properties after the legal notice was given for them to abate the dangerous product from their properties. The new enforcement strategy of filing suit against non-compliant property owners represents a proactive stance the state is taking to make lead poisoning in children a problem of the past. According to the news report, the property owners who are being sued purchased their properties after lead violations were issued to prior owners. After purchasing the properties, the new owners were issued additional notices to remove the lead paint, and the three defendants failed to do so. If the three lawsuits are successful, the property owners will be required to pay to have the lead paint removed, and other financial penalties may also be imposed.
Anyone seeking to purchase property in Rhode Island with buildings constructed before 1978 should be concerned about the possible presence of lead paint in the buildings. Although home inspections do not always look for lead paint, a prospective buyer is able to specifically request an inspection for lead paint in order to determine if a future abatement will be necessary. Lead paint removal can be expensive, costing an average of $10,000 for a single-family home. By determining whether any lead paint will need to be removed before a home or business is compliant, prospective buyers can adjust their purchase offer accordingly.
Building inspections can be a valuable tool in determining the value of a property and finding any hidden defects that could be expensive to remediate after a property has been purchased. If a seller knowingly fails to disclose certain defects in a property that they knew about and are missed by an inspection, a buyer may be able to seek damages from the seller by filing a lawsuit in state court. A qualified Rhode Island real estate attorney should be able to advise their clients if a lawsuit is appropriate.
Are You Looking to Purchase Property in Rhode Island?
If you or a loved one is looking to purchase property in the state, retaining one of the experienced Rhode Island real estate lawyers with Bilodeau Capalbo can ensure that you avoid potentially catastrophic expenses down the road if your purchase was not as it seemed. The knowledgeable Rhode Island real estate attorneys who practice with Bilodeau Capalbo understand the tricks of the real estate trade and can advise and represent you as to the best course of action to protect your interests. If you have questions, call us at 401-300-4055 to discuss your issue and schedule a free consultation with an experienced Rhode Island real estate attorney today.