City Hall acts on lead poisoning

The Common Council passed legislation Tuesday to address chipping and peeling lead paint hazards in rental units following years of reporting by Investigative Post on Buffalo’s serious lead poisoning problem.

The new legislation requires landlords and property managers to:

  • Permit inspectors to check for lead hazards on all rental units built before 1978.
  • Certify that rental units built before 1978 are free of lead paint hazards by submitting a compliance letter from a licensed inspector.
  • Disclose to renters that lead paint could be present in apartments built before 1978.
  • Attend an accredited course on how to safely renovate, repair and paint units that contain lead paint if their properties are determined to have lead hazards.

The legislation also allows for the revocation of a certificate of occupancy for buildings with three or more rental units if lead hazards are found. In addition, fines are increased to a range of $105 to $315 for chipping and peeling paint.

Council President Darius Pridgen said monitoring compliance of the new rules will be ironed out by Mayor Byron Brown’s administration.

“They assured us that they are putting protocols in place to make this happen,” he said.