PHILADELPHIA (Legal Newsline) -- The Environmental Protection Agency has cited a New York realty company for allegedly violating a federal law regarding the disclosure of information to tenants about lead-based paint hazards.

The tenants are renting four properties in Reading, Pa., from Crespo Realty Inc. of Flushing, N.Y., the EPA said March 26.

The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act requires sellers and landlords of residential housing built before 1978 to disclose to purchasers and tenants the presence of known lead-based paint hazards -- or the lack of knowledge. Lead-based paint was banned under federal law in 1978.

Landlords must provide information about lead hazards. This information includes a pamphlet, a standard warning statement and include disclosure and acknowledgment language in leases.

According to the EPA complaint, this information was not provided in five leases in four Crespo residential properties in Reading. After giving the company an opportunity to respond to the complaint, it will propose a penalty for these alleged violations. But the EPA notes that the statutory maximum penalty for violations of the Disclosure Rule is $11,000 per violation.

Crespo has the right to a hearing to contest the alleged violations. The company did not return a call requesting a comment about the citation.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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