[Parentsgroup-list] delead apartments

jbarnes at fas.harvard.edu jbarnes at fas.harvard.edu
Mon Jun 26 14:11:06 EDT 2006

I'm not familiar with the exception Kyla mentions, but I think it must only
apply to situations where the apartment rented is "part of" the landlords
house.  I do know that if you rent one story of a two-family house where the
landlord lives on the other story that does not exempt the landlord from the
requirements of the law.

It is true that if you move in to a non-deleaded apartment you can then force
the landlord to bring it into compliance.  I'm not sure I'd recommend
that...you can decide for yourself if having an expensive confrontation with
your landlord is the first thing you want to do when you move into a new place.

We lived in a non-deleaded apartment for our first two years out here (we had 3
small children then).  The landlord initially said he would rent to someone
else until I gave him my word I would not force him to delead.  Trying to
enforce the "landlord must delead" provision in the law before you move in is
largely a non-starter...it's just too easy for the landlord to come up with
other reasons to not rent to you.  I'm sure I am in the extreme minority in
choosing to live with our small children in an apartment that was not deleaded
but it was the best option available to us.  We did ask the landlord to repaint
the place before we moved in which he did.  We were careful to watch for peeling
paint, dust, etc. but overall we felt fine living there.  We also had our
children tested annually.

I'm not recommending you do the same, but since you asked if everyone lives in a
deleaded apartment, I thought I'd share my experience.  I do not regret our
decision at all.


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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