Monday, November 8, 2010

Lead Paint!

I haven't written on my blog in a few years, mostly because of the advent of social media. Facebook. It happens to be a great way to stay in touch with old friends and make new ones and along the way share the ups and downs of life.
I have a few rental properties and one is an older brick home that was converted to four one bedroom apartments. I rent to HUD/Metro and single people. During the last HUD inspection, they determined that my property didn't pass inspection because there was peeling paint on the outside of the building. I had more than 20 square feet (about five feet by four feet). Since the building was built before 1978, I need to have a lead safe contractor come in, remove the lead paint and get it recertified by the EPA as free from lead.
I'm not the only one facing this issue. Many people that rent to persons receiving HUD funds are finding themselves in similar situations. They are going to lose tenants, some very long term and tenants are going to be forced to move.
Lead may have affected some children over the years but there were generations that grew up with lead based paint and lead based lots of stuff and most of them are fine. Now, we the new owners are being forced to repair, replace and upgrade because an advocacy group got their way in Washington and got a bill passed. They didn't stop to ask how this would efffect home owners, land lords, tenants and business owners who are now forced to jump through more regulator hoops and spend more money on permits, training and equipment. To me it seems like a big money maker for the state.
I realized that lead is dangerous and I am probably glossing over the effects and the dangers of having lead in our bodies but most kids aren't eating the windowsills or picking the paint off the walls. It is frustrating to work hard to have a nice place for people to live and I want to provide a safe, healthy environment for my tenants but when it requires me to expend thousands of dollars just for a new paint job and a guy to take a few test, I feel a little angry at the government. My tenants will be moving on and I will be forced to find new ones to replace the income I have lost and I will have to deal with the peeling paint issues.
The moral I'm trying to come to is this, when you let the government pay your bills, the government gets to make the rules. We have given far to much power to the government to rule our lives. I didn't see anything about lead paint in the Constitution and I never will but for now, I have lead paint test kits and dollar signs dancing in my head.