Chicago is a bustling, contemporary city, full of all the benefits a modern world provides. Surely, lead paint in rental properties is a thing of the past, right? While it is easy to understand why people believe lead is no longer an issue, the reality of today’s rental market is something else entirely.
In a time not so long ago, lead was an ingredient in paint products. Our city contains numerous properties built before awareness about the dangers of lead paint was widely known. As such, many of our Chicago neighbors live in apartment buildings and other dwellings containing lead paint. In fact, Illinois has a high rate of lead poisoning, which can cause severe physical and mental development problems in children.
Fortunately, there are laws in place to protect renters from unsafe premises. The United States banned the use of lead-based paints in 1978. Now, landlords are required by federal law to disclose the presence of lead paint in their properties. This gives renters the information they need to make an informed decision about whether they want to rent the property.
If a landlord fails to disclose this information and someone gets sick from exposure to lead paint, he or she can be held responsible for this negligence. In our tenure assisting Chicago residents, we have seen both the hazards of lead paint and successful legal actions taken against responsible parties. Even the Illinois Attorney General became more involved last year when she filed a premises liability lawsuit against a property owner.
As always, we encourage our readers to explore our website to learn more about premises liability. We also invite you to contact our office if you need individualized assistance.