HUD has implemented its new rule on children’s blood lead levels and it’s now in effect. HUD’s New Lead Regulation Press Release
Immediately, any child living in a unit receiving Section-8 assistance with an “elevated” blood lead level of 5 or more micro-grams per deciliter (5 ug/dl), down from 20 ug/dl, the following must occur within 30 days, if not, the owner will have their Section-8 rental assistance terminated.
- owner notified by email and mail
- the unit inspected by a licensed lead inspector – within 15 days after notice sent
- a lead abatement and management plan drawn up
- a certified lead abatement contractor hired
- work completed
- unit re-inspected
- conditions cleared and documented – within 30 days after notice sent
We are also concerned that the lead levels in our Country have fallen considerably and are at such low levels now that we should be celebrating a victory for eradicating childhood elevated lead levels instead it appears we’re trying to eliminate a natural element used for thousands of years from our planet, which is an impossibility….consider this chart.
The good news for now is the CT Department of Public Health (CT-DPH) has not moved off its current abatement levels. Currently any owner with a child residing in their property with a blood lead level of 20 ug/dl is immediately issued an abatement order. If a child has a 15 ug/dl level, a second blood test is required and if that also is at 15 or higher, then that owner is issued an abatement order. However, there are some indications that CT-DPH is looking to lower its levels also as seen here, 2018 Lead Action Agenda_updated_7-2-18
The CTPOA has already taken action to help protect landlords and met with D’Amelia & Associates, the administrator for Connecticut’s Housing Choice Program, representatives from Day Star inspections, spoken with State Legislators and is discussing this new rule with local Housing Authorities that manage the Federal Housing Choice Voucher programs in larger cities.
We are trying to work with housing agencies from both landlord and tenant groups to make these new rules operable in Connecticut. No property owner should be penalized by having their rental payments stop because of a new government policy that everyone so far agrees, 30 days is just unrealistic to get all the requirements completed.
The State Capitol is your building, fight to make it right
How Do Things Get Better For CT Landlords?
I hear it all the time….”the eviction laws favor tenants,”…the “CHRO discrimination process is legalized extortion,”… “the lead paint issue is a hoax…children’s lead levels are at historic lows but their I.Q. scores are also going down,”…Bob can’t CTPOA fix any of this?
Well the answer is both yes and no! We can’t fix any of this legislatively, we’ve tried for many years but in Connecticut the cards are stacked against landlords. However, landlords can get organized and work together as a team to unseat Legislators that are openly hostile to private landlords and businesses and at the same time elect pro-landlord legislators.
The progress we have made at the Capitol has ground to a halt the past couple of years as liberal committee leaders favor tenants over landlords. A recent example of this bias is Representative William Tong of Stamford who is now running for Attorney General in CT. Last year several landlords asked to meet with him in his district to discuss housing matters, specifically the complaints about the CHRO process being totally one-sided and favoring tenants. His response was devastating, he basically said that frivolous discrimination complaints are in fact a cost of doing business and that landlords had to suck it up. Then he continued to say basically that you don’t have the votes to change things!”
We pursued to fix the CHRO law despite Tong’s assertion with a Bill proposed by Representative Cara Pavalock of Bristol, (Bill# 7303) and when it arrived in Tongs committee (he is the House Chair on Judiciary) it was basically stripped of all language that was going to help landlords and instead new language was inserted to help CHRO and tenants….we then had to work hard to kill our own Bill.
There is no way to fix things legislatively unless the players change at the State Capitol. Liberal leaders run committees and their agenda is just not in line with most business owners. This November there is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fix things at the State Capitol. Landlords will have an opportunity this November to get organized and vote out several anti-business, anti-landlord legislators and help elect pro-landlord legislators. Then and only then can things possible get better for rental owner in the State of Connecticut. Remember we did this in New Britain in 2013 when that city’s mayor attacked landlords, we can do it again in November, it’s the only solution!
The 2018 General Assembly Session has been anything but a smooth ride as several harmful Bills advanced further than they should have. This could be a signal for trouble on the horizon for CT Landlords unless they wake up and get more involved in the political process and make Legislators understand what they face on a daily basis dealing with their properties.
Bill # 5376 “An Act Limiting Rent Increases In Certain MultiFamily Dwellings” would limit rent increases for owners who received State or Federal funds to improve their property. What was horribly wrong with the Bill besides limiting profits was it tied the rate of increases to the CPI and property owners costs are not tied to that index but property taxes, insurance and utility costs so it was just a bad idea to begin with. The Bill was opposed by CTPOA but few other testified against it and while this version said “if an owner received State or Federal funding”…this is only one amendment away from making this apply to all rental property owners.
Another Bill that concerns us is Bill # 356 “An Act Concerning Licensing and Registration Requirements For Operators Of Certain Short-Term Rental Properties” The proposal requires licensing for those involved in short term rentals of less than 30 days. Again, it’s not that far of a stretch to eliminate the words “less than 30 days” and substitute instead, “all rental properties!” The result would be a windfall of revenue for the cities and State from licensing fees on rental property owners.
There are other troubling Bills alive and kicking but we’ve met with several legislators to try and persuade them not to bring these Bills forward, only time will tell. There are only 3 weeks left in this session so we’ll know soon enough what the future looks like for CT rental property owners!