[Parentsgroup-list] delead apartments

wenc at fas.harvard.edu wenc at fas.harvard.edu
Mon Jun 26 14:05:58 EDT 2006


Actually, MA law requires that all kids under 6 have to live in deleaded
housing.  No landlord can get around this except illegally, so landlords who
are renting apts in their own home ARE required to delead.  If they told you
otherwise they are in error.  There is a lot of mythology out there among
landlords about lead, so I wouldn't pay too much attention to what a landlord
says.  Look at the mass.gov web site or the Mass Dept of Public Health for the
real information.  Even homeowners are supposed to delead--Mass has some of the
most stringent lead laws in the country.

You might have more luck with a broker, unfortunately.  Since it takes some
money and effort to delead, I think many landlords prefer to use a more formal
screening process with a broker.  I would recommend a guy named Paul at Metro
Realty on Mass Ave in Cambridge--he helped me find a decently-priced deleaded
apt very quickly.  I think that it's not uncommon for the landlord to pay the
fee or to pay half the fee (usually a month's rent), though with the changing
housing market this might not be the case as much anymore.

Also, newer buildings (built post-1978) will not have lead paint, so if you find
a place there you do not have to worry about lead.

I had a lead poisoning scare with my son that turned out to be an error, but in
the process I learned that it's not really something you want to mess with--you
need to be in deleaded housing.  (I was staying in a non-deleaded house at the
time)  But I also learned that it's QUITE easy for there to be errors when your
kid gets their blood lead test at the doctor.  The finger-stick test can be
totally wrong, as it was with me--apparently my son just stuck his finger in
some leaded dust on his way to the doc or something (East Coast cities are
powdered with lead, from leaded gasoline days and from 200 years of flaking
lead paint--it's in the soil, all over the place), and so his lead level came
back pretty high.  The arm stick test showed that his level was actually much
lower and wasn't anything to worry much about.




Quoting Kyla Ebels Duggan <ebels at fas.harvard.edu>:

> Here are two possibilities for deleaded apartments:
>
> Our current apartment is in Union Square in Somerville on Putnam Street.
> It's managed by Greater Boston Properties, and you can find the number on
> the web.  There is a whole row of townhousey buildings, all deleaded.  The
> management is not stellar, but not terrible, and the apartments are
> spacious.
>
> Another possibility is our old landlord, Hugh Gelch.  He has some deleaded
> places, and is working on upgrading all of his places (a rare landlord who
> follows the law on this without having his arm twisted).  He was a great
> landlord.  His number is (617) 964-4220.  He doesn't have a whole lot of
> places in Somerville, and most of what he has is quite small.
>
> Also, we learned in looking for a place that landlords who are just
> renting out an apartment in their own home are not required to delead like
> others are.
>
> good luck!
> Kyla
>
> On Mon, 26 Jun 2006, Anna Shusterman wrote:
>
> > Hi,
> > It is a bit tricky around here. However there are some financial incentives
> > (at least in somerville) for landlords to delead -- it is not as costly or
> > time consuming as they would have you believe. Our landlord deleaded for us
> > (after our other landlord kicked us out -- win some, lose some). In theory,
> > according to the law, they cannot deny you housing based on the fact that
> > you have a small child, and they *have* to bring the apartment into
> > compliance with the lead laws. It depends how pushy you want to be to make
> > it clear to potential landlords that you know that law and you know that
> > they are violating it.
> > There are deleaded apartments and decent landlords around, though -- you
> > just have to look hard for them. Some postings don't advertise that they
> are
> > deleaded, and if the apartment looks freshly renovated, you can move in and
> > then insist that the landlord do lead testing and bring the place into
> > compliance. I think that even if you sign the "lead disclosure" form that
> > they provide, if they rent to you with a small child they are not off the
> > hook -- they still have to bring the place into compliance. I would double
> > check this, though.
> > Good luck -- if I hear of any good deleaded apartments I will post them
> > here.
> > -Anna
> >
> >
> > On 6/26/06, Jenny Kirsten Ataoguz <jksmith at fas.harvard.edu> wrote:
> > >
> > > dear All,
> > > We have started apartment hunting and have learned that with children it
> > > is
> > > a bit tricky because of the issue of deleading.  Does everyone live in
> > > deleaded apartments?  Is it really difficult to find one?
> > > Thanks,
> > > Kirsten Ataoguz
> > >
> > >
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> >
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