Archive for category Lead-Based Paint

You Will Not Want To Miss AASEW’s Fourth Annual Landlord Boot Camp on Saturday Feb. 25th

Landlording can be pretty complex, with a seemingly never ending myriad of paperwork, rules, landlord-tenant laws and simple mistakes that can cost you thousands of dollars.

The Apartment Association of Southeastern Wisconsin’s Fourth Annual Landlord Boot Camp can help you navigate these treacherous waters and teach you how to run your properties with greater profit and less hassles.

I have given similar landlord-tenant law seminars to fellow attorneys, landlords, and property manager organizations throughout the state for other state-wide semianr companies that charge attendees $300-$400.  This is your opportunity to learn all of the same information at a huge discount through the Apartment Association.


Who:   Taught by Attorney Tristan R. Pettit (who drafts the landlord tenant forms for Wisconsin Legal Blank)

When:    Saturday, February 25th, 2012. 8:30 am – 5 pm

Where:   Clarion Hotel 5311 S. Howell Avenue, Milwaukee [Map]

Included:  100 plus page manual/outline to help you put what you learn into practice plus helpful forms.

Cost:  $159 for AASEW members and $249 for non-members.  If you are not a member of AASEW but are a member of another landlord/apartment association the cost to attend will be $199.

Specials: Not a member?  Pay just a dollar more and enjoy a 2012 AASEW membership.

Wisconsin landlord-tenant laws are constantly changing.  To help keep you up to date we offer prior attendees a $50 discount.

Sign up by going to the AASEW’s Landlord Boot Camp landing page where you can sign up online and pay via PayPal.


What you will learn at the Apartment Association’s 2012 Landlord Boot Camp

Landlord Boot Camp covers everything that you need to know about residential Landlord Tenant law in Wisconsin, including:

  1. How to properly screen prospective tenants.
  2. How to draft written screening criteria to assist you in the selection process and protect you from discrimination complaints.
  3. How to comply with both federal and state Fair Housing laws including how to handle with “reasonable modifications”  and “reasonable accommodations” requests.
  4. How to legally reject an applicant.
  5. What rental documents you should be using and why.
  6. When you should be using a 5-day notice versus a 14-day notice, 28-day notice, or 30-day notice and how to properly serve the notice on your tenant.
  7. Everything you wanted to know (and probably even more than you wanted to know) about the Residential Rental Practices (ATCP 134) and how to avoid having to pay double damages to your tenant for breaching ATCP 134.
  8. When you are legally allowed to enter your tenant’s apartment.
  9. How to properly draft an eviction summons and complaint.
  10. What to do to keep the commissioner from dismissing your eviction suit.
  11. What you can legally deduct from a security deposit.
  12. How to properly draft a security deposit transmittal / 21 day letter.
  13. How to handle pet damage.
  14. What to do with a tenant’s abandoned property and how this may affect whether or not you file an eviction suit.
  15. How to pursue your ex-tenant for damages to your rental property and past due rent (and whether it is even worth it to do so).

. . .  and much more.  There will also be time for questions and answers.

You get all this for less than you would pay for an hour of an attorney’s time.

Last year’s AASEW Landlord Boot Camp was filled to capacity and we even had to turn a few people away.  So call early to reserve your spot.

Call the Association at (414) 276-7378, email or go to our Landlord Boot Camp landing page to sign up online and reserve your spot.

Remember that “landlording” is a business — so take the time to educate yourself on how to better manage your business and avoid costly errors!

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Audits In Milwaukee by HUD Regarding Compliance with Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Laws

A fellow board member on the Apartment Association of SE Wisconsin forwarded the email below to me and other landlord-tenant attorneys and others in the industry.  It concerns the recent audits of landlords and management companies in the city of Miwlaukee with regard to complying with the federal lead-based paint disclosure laws. 
I spoke with a potential client yesterday who was also being audited and had failed to give out the required disclosure forms and pamphlet.
The feds seem to have turned up the heat on this issue.
Please read the email below and also view my blog post on this topic at

Subject: Lead based paint warnings
Ladies and gents
Our benevolent government is comprised of multitudes of faceless bureaucrats with nothing to do so they dredge up projects to justify their cushy jobs, benefits and pensions.
The latest of these to affect our real estate residential industry is that the Dept of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is auditing landlords to be SURE that they give the required Lead warnings to each incoming tenant.  Thie would include the pamphlets and forms you received from us and are instructed to use.
As our buildings were constructed before 1978 (when lead paint was officially banned – even tho nobody used it for years previous), ALL tenants MUST sign the form and get the pamphlet.
For EACH failure to provide the form and pamphlet, the fine can reach $11,000.  You can see this could add up to real money real fast.
I urge you to check your files and be SURE the lead form is there for each tenant.  Those of you who send your leases to the office usually do not send the Lead form which is usually not necessary for tenant management, but it is vital that the forms are available for one of these audits.
Today the audits are in the City of Milwaukee.  A friend of mine was just audited and the HUD guy was there 3 hours and made many copies of stuff.   My friend has about 300 units in Milwaukee. They could audit anywhere next.
We will be checking with each of you in the near future to check on this.
This is serious.  Do not fail.
Please take heed of this and make sure you are in compliance — the penalties are huge and can easily put a landlord out of business.


Latest EPA Proposed Changes to “Renovate Right” Rules — Deadline to Provide Feedback July 6th

ALERT! The latest EPA proposal will require dust sampling and lab testing clearance on many small jobs.  The EPA estimates $160 per room in testing cost.  In WI testing can only be done by state certified risk assessors and the cost is about $240 per room.  So a  repair to a damaged door jamb could cost ten times as much as it does today, and many times more than that if you were a do it yourselfer.

From the Federal Register (Link Below) #2 and #4 are the “gotchas.”

Dust wipe testing must be performed after all renovations involving:

     –  Use of a heat gun at temperatures below 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit

     –  Removal or replacement of window or door frames

     –  Scraping 60 ft [2] or more of painted surfaces

     –  Removing more than 40 ft [2] of trim, molding, cabinets, or other fixtures.

Link to the proposed rule in the Federal Register

The 60 day comment period ends July 6th, 2010

Read the comments submitted by the Apartment Association of Southeastern WI and links to the EPA comment page at:

Make sure you post some feedback.  This is one of the biggest changes to affect our industry and these changes are huge and will put many contractors (and landlords) out of business.  Fines for violating these new laws can be as much as $32,500 per each violation.

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Wisconsin’s New Lead-Safe Renovation Rule is Upon Us – April 22, 2010 – Get Trained

From a March 1, 2010 post by Tim Ballering on the AASEW Advisors listserv:

Beginning April 22nd you will be required to be trained and have WI
DHFS or EPA certification even to work on your own pre 1978 rental

Yes the rule will be very expensive to comply with (See the articles
below). Yes it is another — to put it in terms the government uses —
unfunded mandate.  But it is now the law and it will eventually be
painfully expensive not to comply. (Big fines, lawsuits etc.)

The good news, if there is such a thing in this context, is the AASEW has a
tentative agreement with another state certified trainer to provide
this training for less than $200 per person.

We need a head count of how many owners and their crew members would
be interested in taking advantage of this.  That number will set the
final pricing.  If we hustle the training would be prior to 4/22/10 so
that no one is out of compliance.

This rule will affect you if you replace windows, disturb 6 square feet of paint on the interior or 20 square feet of paint on the exterior of any pre-1978 rental housing.  Essentailly this will affect all of us that own rentals.

If you would be interested in attendng — please post a comment below along with the number of people you would be sending and I will pass the info on to Tim.



————-Recent News on EPA Rules —————–

“The price for homeowners could be hiked by $500 to $1,000 per room,
McComas said.”


“It’s going to price a lot of these jobs right out of the market,” he
said.”I think it’s going to put me out of business.”


The new federal lead safety rules that take effect this spring are
coming just as work gears up on federal stimulus projects that may be
affected by the new regulations.


“You’re talking about at least a few thousand dollars extra,” said
DiBernardo. Gehrig estimated the extra labor might add 25 percent to
a siding job.


New regulations aimed at protecting homeowners from lead based paint
could make your renovation costs skyrocket.

Landlords Should Attend EPA Lead Renovation Meeting On Feb. 15th

The Bad News:   Those of you who have been following along on this list have heard about the new EPA Law, beginning April 22, 2010, that regulates any renovation work that disturbs 6 sq. ft. or more of paint per room, 20 sq. ft. or more of exterior paint, or involves windows. This law specifically includes rental property owners, management companies and their employees.  Your workers and company will need certification as well as changing your work practices. 

This law will increase the cost of doing work as well as subject violators to fines of up to $32,500 per day/violation..  You really don’t want to make a mistake here.

The Good News: Steve Antholt of the Wisconsin Department of Health (The people who will enforce this law in WI) has agreed to be at the AASEW’s Monday general meeting to  talk about the new EPA Law and the state companion rule Wisconsin Lead-Safe Renovation Rule, DHS 163.  He will explain why it is important, and what steps Rental Property Owners and Managers need to take to comply.
The Better News:  Steve has agreed to answer any and all questions that we may have on how to comply and keep our butts out of trouble. 
The Alternative: If all this makes you want to be rid of your properties… this Monday’s meeting will be the first to feature the new  Traders’ Corner!  Beginning February every month prior to our General Membership meetings our Traders’ Corner will meet to give members the opportunity to talk about their real estate needs. 
Join us Monday, February 15th 6:30 p.m if you wish to participate in the Trader’s Corner and 7:00 p.m. for the general meeting featuring Steve Anholt of DHFS 
Where:  Best Western, 1005 South Moorland Road, Brookfield, WI 53005.
HT to Tim Ballering


Upcoming AASEW Meetings, Topics & Speakers

The Apartment Association of Southeastern Wisconsin, Inc. (AASEW) has some very interesting speakers and topics for its upcoming monthly membership meetings in 2010.  All meetings are held on the 3rd Monday of the month at 7 pm at the Best Western Midway Hotel which is located at 1005 S. Moorland Road in Brookfield.  There is no cost to attend the meetings.  If you are not yet a member of AASEW, attending one of our monthly membership meetings is a great way to see what the organization is all about and learn how membership can benefit you as a landlord, property manager or vendor.

Our January 18th meeting will feature Attorney Robert Muten of Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren S.C.  Atty. Muten will speak on the issue of employees vs. independent contractors.  Whether a person is an employee of your business or an independant contractor will affect all of us at some point in our lives if the issue has not already confronted you.  I have done research on this very interesting topic for clients in the past and the determination as to whether you are an employee or an independant contractor is very fact-specific.  You will not want to miss this very informative meeting with Atty. Muten.

Steven Antholt of the State of Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services will speak at the February 15th AASEW meeting.  He will discuss the new Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting Program.  This new program will affect everyone that owns or works on rental property and who “disturbs” more than 6 feet of interior space or 20 feet of exterior space, and/or is replacing any doors or windows in pre-1978 housing.  This new law requires individuals to get specific training prior to its enactment date and to comply with a myriad of rules and regulations.  The fines for ignoring this new law will be stiff — so it would be in all of our best interests to be in attendence at this meeting.

On March 15th, Stacy Hegg, Property Manager for Wellston Apartments, will discuss best practices in rental property management and provide us with some management tips that we can use when managing our own properties.  I have had the pleasure of co-presenting a seminar with Stacy a few months ago and found her to be a dynamic, knowledgeable, and enjoyable speaker.  Come learn how to better manage your rentals from an expert in the industry.

I hope to see all of you at these future meetings.

I would like to wish everyone a healthy, safe, and happy holiday season.  I apologize for the lack of substantive blog articles this past week but I have been very busy dealing with all of the crowds while trying to finish my last minute holiday shopping  :  )

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Just last week I read yet another article about an owner and its management company in California being threatened with a $330,000 fine for failure to give it’s tenants a lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazard disclosure notice as required under federal law. Yes, that number is correct – $330,000 – I did not mistakenly add an extra 0 or two. That is $11,000 per violation for the 30 alleged violations.

Just yesterday I was meeting with a new client to review his rental documents and assist him with a problem tenant issue. This client owns several properties in the city of Milwaukee and has owned one of them for over 10 years. After reviewing the rental documents that he was using and not noticing the lead-based paint disclosure form among them, I asked him if he gave his tenants the federally-mandated lead-based paint disclosure. He did not know what I was talking about – he was not aware of the law or the disclosure form.

It is federal law (24 C.F.R. Part 35, subpart A) that an owner, or its agent, of any property that was built before 1978, must disclose to any prospective tenant whether or not it has any knowledge of lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards in the property and if so provide any written records of same if available. The owner/agent must also give the prospective tenant a copy of the E.P.A.-approved information pamphlet entitled “Protect Your Family from Lead In Your Home.”

You must give these two documents to each and every tenant even if you have no knowledge of any lead-based paint issues in your property. Chances are that most, if not all, older housing stock has some layers of lead-based paint somewhere within it. The fines for failing to provide these documents to tenants are huge – as you can tell from the California article I reference above.

If you are interested in seeing a copy of the manual that the feds follow to determine what amount the fine should be for such violations click here. It is truly scary. You can be fined for failing to provide the above documents to tenants even if no one has been injured by ingesting lead-based paint chips or dust. You can be fined even if there are no children living in the unit. The fine is for failing to provide the disclosure form. If children are living in the unit or god forbid any child is injured as a result of ingesting lead-based paint at your rental property the fines just increase.

It is very easy to comply with this law and protect both yourself and your tenants. You can purchase a copy of the Lead-Based Paint Disclosure form at Wisconsin Legal Blank, Inc. The EPA pamphlet may also be purchased at WLB. The pamphlet is also available for free on the internet here. As long as you include all of the pertinent requirements you can even draft your own disclosure form.

Once you have purchased or drafted the disclosure form fill it out. If you are not aware of any lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards you simply check the applicable box on the form. If you have no documentation of any lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards (such as building code orders) you also check the applicable box. If you are aware of your property having lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards (i.e. you or some agency have conducted tests and/or you have been cited by your municipality) then you must disclose this information and also attach any written documentation that you have in your possession regarding this.

Once you have accurately completed the form you should sign and date it. You should then give a copy of the form and the EPA-approved pamphlet to each adult and have them sign and date it. This disclosure form is the first document you should be having your soon-to-be tenant reviewing and signing when you meet with them to review and sign your rental documents. The law says that you should be providing this disclosure form to prospective tenants – so they should be receiving the disclosure before they sign the rental agreement and actually become tenants.

If you are reading this post and have not provided your current tenants with the disclosure form and the pamphlet I would suggest that you take action immediately and get these two documents to them ASAP. Late disclosure is better then no disclosure.

With such large fines levied by the government for such failure to disclose lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards I am extremely cautious and often advise my clients to provide new disclosure forms and a new EPA-approved pamphlet to tenants every time they sign a renewal or enter into a new rental agreement. It probably is not necessary but I’d rather be safe then sorry.