Section 197A: Notice to prospective purchasers of premises; forms; letter of compliance; civil penalty
Section 197A. Prospective purchasers of premises shall be notified about the hazards of lead in paint, plaster or other accessible structural material in premises and the requirements for their abatement or containment as follows:?
(a) The director shall prepare a standard notification form and such other materials as may be necessary to inform prospective purchasers about the possible presence of dangerous levels of lead in such premises, the symptoms and treatment of lead poisoning, and the requirements of the lead law and regulations, including the provisions concerning liability for failure to abate or contain lead hazards and prohibitions against unlawful discrimination. The director shall prepare a separate notification form and materials for prospective purchasers of residential properties containing one or more rental units. Such rental property notification materials shall inform prospective purchasers about issues specific to rental properties, such as liability insurance and prohibitions against unlawful discrimination. Such forms and materials shall be revised from time to time as appropriate.
(b) All persons selling premises shall, prior to the signing of a purchase and sale agreement, provide a copy of the form and other materials prepared pursuant to subsection (a) to the prospective purchaser. Effective May first, nineteen hundred and ninety-four, all persons leasing premises with an option to purchase such premises shall, prior to the signing of the lease with an option to purchase, provide a copy of the form and other materials prepared pursuant to subsection (a) to the lessee-prospective purchaser. In addition to and at the time of providing said notification, the lessor-prospective seller shall provide the lessee-prospective purchaser with any letter of interim control for the premises issued pursuant to subsection (b) of section one hundred and ninety-seven, or any letter of full compliance for the premises issued pursuant to subsection (c) of said section, and such seller and any real estate agent involved in the sale shall disclose to the prospective purchaser any information known to the seller or real estate agent about the presence of paint, plaster, or other accessible structural materials containing dangerous levels of lead in the premises.
(1) The lessee-prospective purchaser shall also be informed by the lessor-prospective seller and any such real estate agent about the availability of inspections for dangerous levels of lead. If, after receiving said notice, the lessee-prospective purchaser chooses to have an inspection done, the lessor-prospective seller shall afford the lessee-prospective purchaser a period of ten days or such longer time as the parties may agree to have such inspection performed, through a lead inspection contingency provision in the purchase and sale agreement, or otherwise.
(2) If any real estate agent involved in the sale has provided the lessee-prospective purchaser with the required information and materials, he shall verbally inform the lessee-prospective purchaser of the possible presence of dangerous levels of lead and the provisions of sections one hundred and eighty-nine A through one hundred and ninety-nine B, inclusive, and regulations promulgated thereunder. At that time or at any time prior to signing of the purchase and sale agreement, any such real estate agent shall obtain the lessee-prospective purchaser's certification that he has been notified.
(c) Nothing in this section or this chapter shall be construed to require the director, local boards of health or code enforcement agencies to conduct lead inspections the sole purpose of which is to inform sellers or prospective purchasers of premises about the presence of dangerous levels of lead in said premises.
(d) Tenants of premises and those prospective tenants who are about to enter an agreement to rent premises shall be notified about the hazards of dangerous levels of lead as follows:?
(1) The director shall, by July first, nineteen hundred and ninety-four, prepare a standard notification brochure and such other materials as may be necessary to inform such tenants and property owners about the hazards associated with dangerous levels of lead; the symptoms and treatment of lead poisoning; measures which can be taken by parents and property owners to reduce the risk of lead exposure to children; and the requirements of sections one hundred and eighty-nine A through one hundred and ninety-nine B, inclusive, and regulations promulgated thereunder. Such materials shall also describe the significance of letters of interim control and letters of full compliance, and the need for tenants to promptly notify owners, the director, the local code enforcement agency or board of health in writing whenever an intact painted surface begins to peel or flake. The director shall also prepare a standard form to be distributed by owners to tenants and prospective tenants about to enter an agreement to rent the premises, which shall include the name, address and telephone number of the owner or the owner's managing agent and the address and telephone number of the state childhood lead poisoning prevention program. In addition, the owner shall disclose any information actually known by the owner concerning the location of paint, plaster or other accessible structural materials containing dangerous levels of lead, including such intact paint, plaster or other accessible structural materials containing dangerous levels of lead which have been covered or encapsulated.
(2) Effective December first, nineteen hundred and ninety-four, prior to entering into a tenancy agreement, the owner of premises or such other person to whom rent is to be regularly paid, shall provide a prospective tenant who is about to enter such an agreement to rent premises with:
(i) a copy of the materials and standard form completed pursuant to paragraph (1); (ii) a copy of the most recent lead paint inspection report, letter of interim control, letter of compliance or abatement plan applicable to the dwelling unit and to the common areas or exterior surfaces of the residential premises; and (iii) two copies of a statement certifying that the prospective tenant received all of the above materials, one copy of which is to be retained by the tenant and one by the owner. For purposes of this section, inclusion of such certification as a provision in a written tenancy agreement shall be permitted.
(e) Any owner who fails to comply with the provisions of this section shall be liable for all damages caused by the failure to comply and, in addition, shall be subject to assessment of a penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars. A violation of this section by a person engaged in trade or commerce shall be an unfair and deceptive act or practice as defined in section two of chapter ninety-three A.
(f) The receipt by a tenant or prospective tenant of a notification brochure or other disclosure materials from an owner pursuant to this section shall not be construed to bar any claim for liability by the tenant or his minor children against the owner. The disbursement by an owner of a notification brochure to a tenant shall not operate as an admission of liability to any claim for liability by the tenant or his minor children against the owner under any provision of sections one hundred and eighty-nine A to one hundred and ninety-nine B, inclusive.