Wednesday, August 29, 2012


 The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) require that renters receive known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards during sales and rentals of housing built before 1978. The government requires that renters  receive specific information on lead-based paint in the housing as well as a Federal pamphlet with practical, low-cost tips on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards. Landlords, and their agents will be responsible for providing this information to the renter before lease of the rental home.

 As a practical consideration the requirements are only likely to be enforced if a tenant complains to the EPA or HUD, or worst case scenario someone who lives at your rental home gets lead poisoning. On the other hand, compliance is not difficult, it could possibly save someone from injury, and if someone where injured in the string of rental homes they lived in, showing that you complied may insulate you from liability.

There are also very specific requirements for remediation of the home where lead based paint is present, but that is beyond the scope of this post.


Before ratification of a lease:

* Sellers and landlords must disclose known lead based paint and lead-based paint hazards and
provide available reports to buyers or renters.

* Landlords must give  renters the pamphlet, developed by EPA, HUD, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), titled Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home.

* Leasing agreements must include certain notification and disclosure language.

* Lessors, and real estate agents share responsibility for ensuring compliance.


* The rule does not require any testing or removal of lead-based paint by sellers or landlords.


Most private housing, public housing, Federally owned housing, and housing receiving Federal assistance are affected by this rule.


* Housing built after 1977 (Congress chose not to cover post-1977 housing because the CPSC banned
the use of lead-based paint for residential use in 1978).

* Zero-bedroom units, such as efficiencies, lofts, and dormitories.

* Leases for less than 100 days, such as vacation houses or short-term rentals.

* Housing for the elderly (unless children live there).

* Housing for the handicapped (unless children live there).

* Rental housing that has been inspected by a certified inspector and found to be free of lead-based paint.


* Failure to provide information/pamphlet.

* Failure to disclose presence of lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards.

* Failure to disclose to each agent the presence of any lead-based paint, or lead based paint hazards, and the existence of any available records or reports.

* Failure to provide any records or reports.

* Failure to include, as an attachment to (or within) the contract, the Lead Warning Statement.

* Failure to include, as an attachment to the contract, a statement by the lessor disclosing the presence of known lead-based paint, or lead-based paint hazards.

* Failure to include as an attachment, or within the contract, a list of any records or reports available to the lessor that pertain to lead hazard information, or the failure to indicate that no such list exists.

* Failure to include in the contract for lease a statement by the lessee affirming receipt of the information and the lead hazard pamphlet.

* Failure to include in the contract as an attachment, a statement by one of more of the agents involved in the transaction, that the agent has informed the lessor or the lessor's obligations and that the agent is aware of his duty to ensure compliance.

* Failure to include in the contract for lease, signatures of the lessor, agent, and lessee certifying to the accuracy of their statements, as well as dates.

* Failure to retain a copy of the completed disclosure records for no less than three years from the completion date of the lease.


EPA and HUD both ,may seek civil penalties through a civil administrative action in circumstances where the violation is more serious. Egregious violations include, in general, failure to satisfy the requirements of the Regulations where the housing being sold or leased contains lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards and is occupied or to be occupied by a pregnant woman or child under the age of 6 years. A Civil Administrative Action is initiated by preparation of an administrative complaint, which includes the penalty to be imposed. Before the penalty becomes final the violator is entitled to an administrative hearing on the matter.

The base amount of the penalty assessed for a violation is based on the nature, circumstances and extent of harm which may result, and may range from $110 to $11,000. Multiple penalties may be imposed where there are several violations in a single transaction. The base penalty amount is adjusted (upward or downward), based on factors such as the violators ability to pay, the history of prior violations, the extent of the violators culpability (that is, the extent to which the violator had knowledge of the requirements of the Regulations and/or had control over the conditions), whether the violator voluntarily reported the violation, and other factors as justice may appear to require.


You may click here to get a copy of the required disclosure from from the EPA.


You may click here to get a copy of lead pamphlet.


 * For specific questions about lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards, call the National Lead Information Clearinghouse at (800) 424–LEAD, or TDD (800) 526–5456 for the hearing impaired.

 * The EPA pamphlet and rule are available electronically and may be accessed through the Internet here.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Greetings Triangle Landlords!

We have good news, however temporary it may be.

When going to the City of Raleigh's Probationary Rental Occupancy Permit (PROP) page you are currently greeted by the following announcement:


Application of the City of Raleigh's PROP Program has been temporarily suspended due to impending revisions to the ordinance. For that reason, the criteria and accompanying procedure associated with PROP will not be available until a resolution has been approved.

 We had heard rumors that PROP had been suspended but these were not confirmed until recently. Hopefully this is not the calm before the storm. It is not a secret that the City of Raleigh was generating substantial revenue from rental registrations. It is also not a secret that following the passage of SB 683, an act that limited cities ability to charge rental registration fees, seriously cut into Raleigh's rental registration revenue. There have been proposals put forward whereby the city will recoup its lost revenue through fines that will reach as high as $10,000.00 per property! 

You may wonder what you can do as a property owner or manager. There are a few things. You can join your local Apartment Association of North Carolina affiliate such as the Triangle Apartment Association, and donate to there political action committee. Also, when the PROP changes are introduced, attend the City council meetings and voice your opposition.

We will keep you posted about PROP changes as they are introduced

Warmest regards,

Norm D. Praet, Esq.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


This week I am going to update you all on what is going on in the Triangle with respect to rental inspection and one other issue:

Raleigh:  It appears that Raleigh is maintaining the status quo on PROP. There was a proposal to greatly increase penalties, and reduce chances to remove or reduce strikes, but it appears to be on hold. There have even been rumors that PROP enforcement been suspended.

Durham: Durham begun inspecting rental homes on July 1, 2012 under their PRIP program. They are inspecting zones 1 and 2 of their map that you can see by clicking here. Current reports are that the Durham PRIP inspectors are having difficulty gaining access to the majority of the rental homes. Durham Neighborhood Improvement Services continues to request that all eligible rental owners self certify.

Wendel: Wendel is close to instituting an inspection program of its own.

Wake County Apartment Association: The Wake County Apartment Association has suspended its meetings because it does not have a director to plan and run the meetings. After many years T. Furlow of Deaton Investments has stepped down. Any rental owners looking for a comparably focused group should visit the Independent Rental Owners meeting of the the Triangle Apartment Association. Currently, they are meeting every other month, but this may change in 2013.

Norm Praet, Esq.
Praet Law Firm, PLLC

Sunday, July 29, 2012

2012 Landlord Tenant Law Changes or How to Accept Partial Payment and Still Evict

On June 11, 2012, the Governor signed House Bill 493 into law as Session Law 2012-17, appropriately entitled "Landlord Tenant Law Changes." Although signed on June 11, 2012, the Law is not effective until October 1, 2012.

The Law passage is due in large part to the efforts of the Apartment Association of North Carolina and the North Carolina Realtors. The Law changes aspects of several different areas of landlord-tenant law. A summary of the changes is set forth below:

1.     APPEALS: Clarifies that tenant is required to pay rent during pendency of case appealed to district court;

a.       Donate raised from $500 to $750
b.      Discard raised from $100 to $500

a.       In an action for ejectment based upon G.S. 42-26(a)(2), the lease may provide that the landlord's acceptance of partial rent or partial housing subsidy payment does not waive the tenant's breach for which the right of reentry was reserved, and the landlord's exercise of such a provision does not constitute a violation of Chapter 75 of the General Statutes.

4.    SECURITY DEPOSIT: Clarifies that upon termination
a.       You may deduct commission to realtor/property manager for reletting if tenant breaches lease.

5.       DEATH OF A TENANT: Streamlines process for removal of tenant possessions and reletting home if tenant passes away.

  The provision that will likely be of greatest interest is the"Partial Payment" provision. It is important to note that that in order to gain the benefit of the statute you must have the language required by the Law included in your lease.

Legal Disclaimer This site is intended for general informational purposes only and does not provide any legal advice nor create any attorney-client relationship. Statutes and case law vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Information presented here may not be applicable to any individual situation. You should consult a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction for legal advice relating to your specific situation. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not of Praet Law Firm, PLLC. All material in this blog copyright 2009-2012.

Legal Disclaimer

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Nothing in this blog shall create an attorney-client relationship. The opinions expressed herein are those of the blogger and not of the PRAET LAW FIRM, PLLC.