Toledo Council considers landlord lead legislation

Toledo Council considers landlord lead legislation

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Big changes could come to residential rental properties in Toledo, if lead legislation is passed.

The ordinance would require residential rental single-family homes and duplexes to get lead tested if they were built before 1978.

Bob Cole, who helped write the ordinance, says failure in any one of four of the steps during the lead testing means landlords would need to do things like repaint, fix chipping, and scrub surfaces to remove the lead hazard.

Monday, members of Toledo City Council heard from both supporters and opponents of rules that would require certain homes to be certified as 'lead safe.'

"My daughter is seven this year, and to this day, I still don't know what's wrong with her," cried Dominque Ottrix, while giving her testimony before city members.

Ottrix says her daughter was diagnosed with lead poisoning when she was only two. She says she is still unsure how much it has affected the girl.

Ottrix says when she told her landlord, her landlord didn't care.

"Nothing ever happened to her, she's fine, she's out living her life, and every day is a struggle for my seven-year-old little girl because she had lead poisoning," said Ottrix.

Supporters of the lead ordinance say these rules are necessary to stop landlords like Ottrix's and reduce the number of children with lead poisoning.

Opponents say requiring all landlords to pay to get their properties lead tested is unfair because it lumps good landlords in with the bad.

Anna Mills, with the Toledo real estate investors association, says it would costs hundreds of dollars per property to get it lead tested under the current requirements of the ordinance, a burden she says would have to be partially passed onto tenants.

"And there goes affordable housing in Toledo," said Mills.

However, Mills says she has talked with supporters of the ordinance about possible compromises, such as doing away with swab testing for lead. She says swab testing is costly.

"You just do a visual and if there's no problem, you don't incur the expense for that tenant," said Mills. "There's no reason to."

City council did not vote on the ordinance Monday. The meeting was simply so council members could hear opinions and ask questions.

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