Property owners reminded that lead ordinance takes effect in July

Property owners reminded that lead ordinance takes effect in July

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Toledo is full of old homes, which are prime locations for lead paint.

This is why the city put the lead ordinance in place, requiring certain rental properties to deal with any lead issues.

Landlords have until June 30 to get certification for their properties. Any owners who don't comply with the ordinance could face daily $50 fines.

The ordinance takes effect in July.

Any property built before 1978 is at risk.

Lead paint is a real danger for anyone living in those homes, especially children. Lead poisoning can cause slowed growth and development, along with irreversible damage to the brain and nervous system in children.

"This is really about the health of our community, about our kids. We know that lead poisoning is extremely bad for a number of reasons for those children and long-term it does degrade the community with lead poisoning in our kids," said Eric Zgodzinski, Toledo/Lucas County Health commissioner.

The city will be mailing reminder postcards to rental property owners who have not completed the necessary steps. The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department has put up a countdown clock, as there are just 38 days left before Zone 1 properties need to be inspected and registered.

The list of lead inspectors can be found here.

So far, less than 10 percent of the 12,500 properties that need to be approved have been fixed.

"Those individuals who have not registered, we have a process in place that we'll be looking at taking those individuals to court, because there is fine component here. $50 per day, up to $10,000 per house," Zgodzinski said.

It would take 200 days to beat the fine. Some landlords think that at this rate, some properties might not be worth fixing.

"I think there's a fair number of landlords who are probably going to walk away from their properties," said Paul Hochanadel, owner of 419 Properties.

Zgodzinski said landlords have had a fair amount of notice to start fixing some of their properties.

"We've had a long enough time that this has been on the books for people to start doing this work. And remember, we're not talking about tens of thousands of dollars. I want to make sure people understand that," said Zgodzinski.

Some landlords have questioned the legitimacy of the testing process and how to educate renters on what they can do.

"When someone's out walking around all day, they're picking up lead dust on their shoes. Walk in the house and it gets all over your house. So it's as simple as that. There needs to be more education on how they can clean their house and how they're protecting their children," Hochanadel said. "It's definitely necessary. The question is: who's responsible for it? The landlords clearly have a role to play. I think the government also has a role to play in it."

The health department admits even if these properties are ready to go, reviewing almost 300 of them per day is unrealistic.

Extensions are available for landlords who have completed an inspection but can not afford to complete necessary work by the June 30 deadline.

Those who need to file for an extension should call 419-245-1400.

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