Beginning April 22, 2010 all home improvement contractors are required to comply with the EPA's new rules to prevent lead poisoning. The new rules, which have actually been public for 2 years, mandate that all contractors and sub's working on homes built prior to 1978 (with a few exceptions) be certified by the EPA. Contractors will have to take a training course and submit an application to the EPA to become certified. Since the EPA could take as long as 3 months to issue the certification, we're anticipating potential complaints this summer becoming an issue.
The fines for non-certified contractors doing renovation work are substantial, running up to tens of thousands of dollars a day. From the contractor's perspective, not following the rules could lead to homeowners refusing to pay for renovation projects or even lawsuits down the road, in addition to the fines. From the homeowner's perspective, these rules will provide a degree of comfort that lead poisoning risks are being mitigated, although it will also most likely add to the total costs of renovations.
In Pennsylvania, we're still dealing with the effects of the relatively recent Home Improvement consumer Protection Act. At Danziger Shapiro & Leavitt, PC we have guided numerous clients through the new licensing requirements imposed on the renovation industry, and we've collectively learned that while there are a few hiccups, the process is not as difficult as everyone feared it would be at the start. Even more important to homeowners, we're also starting to see the effects of the new laws on lawsuits brought against unlicensed and unqualified developers and scam artists within the industry. Our firm has helped numerous homeowners over the years prosecuting these claims, and these new regulations will add more teeth to their cases.
Whether you're a contractor looking for guidance complying with the new requirements, or a homeowner who has been hurt by an unscrupulous contractor, contact the real estate attorney's at Danziger Shapiro & Leavitt, PC at (215) 545-4830 for help with your specific needs.