This proposal is a little extreme.
A measure introduced by state Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville) seeks to require all persons selling properties constructed on or before January 1, 1978 “to conduct an inspection for dangerous levels of lead at their expense prior to the signing of a purchase and sale agreement.” In addition, the bill seeks to require all landlords to perform inspections of all rental units built prior to January 1, 1978 before any change in tenancy or once in a two-year period, whichever is less.
That’s gonna cause a lot of grief, here in the city.
Just about any building in the South End or Back Bay was constructed before January 1, 1978 (many, before January 1, 1878, for that matter!). So, any property will have to have a lead inspection. The way it works currently is that the seller basically signs off saying he has no idea whether or not there’s lead paint. The buyer has the option of having a lead paint inspection or taking a pass. Buyers often take a pass, because if they find lead paint and still close, they as new owners have to alert the subsequent buyers of its presence.
The rental requirement is even more laborious. The inspection would have to be done every time the apartment is rented, which could be every year, for apartments near universities and colleges.
Even worse, enforcement of the law will be practically impossible. There are already laws on the books in Boston that are ignored, including the requirement to have fire escapes examined every five years and the requirement to have smoke alarms checked in apartments every year.
Her intention may be good, but the practical side of it is that it may do very little to help anyone.
I’d have to hear more about it.
Source: Greater Boston Real Estate Board newsletter
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