Lead-safe ordinance passes in Toledo, affects rental properties

Lead-safe ordinance passes in Toledo, affects rental properties

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A controversial lead-safe ordinance is coming to Toledo, following a vote from Toledo City Council Tuesday night. Members of the coalition pushing the ordinance say it's all to stop kids from getting lead poisoning.

Bob Cole, an attorney who helped write the ordinance, says certain landlords will need to get their properties declared 'lead safe.' That's done after a certified lead inspector takes a look at the property. Landlords have a year to prepare for lead inspections.

According to Cole, here's what the ordinance affects:

  • All rental duplexes built before 1978
  • All apartments, or buildings now functioning as apartments, built before 1978 containing one to four units
  • All rental single-family homes built before 1978 - even if the home now functions as an apartment with more than four units
  • Family childcare homes built before 1978

Cole has spent years working to pass a lead-safe ordinance, and now he says his focus will shift toward getting it implemented.

He says they need to train local lead inspectors, because the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department will not be conducting the inspections, and also
get an electronic registry together to list the lead-safe units.

"So that we can guarantee the community that once and for all that we can make sure that if you're looking at a residential rental property, that rental property is lead-safe," said Cole.

Two Toledo Council members were missing from Tuesday's meeting, but 10 who were present all voted for a compromised version of the ordinance.

Several ordinances and proposals were originally drafted. A proposal by Councilman Rob Ludeman failed Tuesday. The 'Sykes/Riley Amendment,' named for Councilman Larry Sykes and Councilman Tyrone Riley, is the one that ultimately passed.

Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson stopped by council chambers, calling the passed legislation important for both children and parents.

"This is - it's been a hard road, to get here, but I'm thankful that we're here and I want to thank you all for your support," said Mayor Hicks-Hudson.

Cole says landlords cannot become lead inspectors to declare their own properties lead safe.

A lead inspector will look for lead hazards, such as chipping paint or bare soil around the property. A property won't be declared lead safe until those problems are fixed.

A group of landlords at the meeting say they're not happy with the vote.

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