The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Attorney in Minneapolis and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday announced settlements against one of the largest Midwest property management companies and a Minnesota landlord for failing to warn their tenants that their homes may contain lead-based paint hazards. Combined, the settlements will result in the complete removal of all lead-based paint in nearly 4,500 apartments in four states in the upper Midwest–Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Indiana.
Dominium Management Services Inc. owns and manages 22 residential properties, including 4,474 units subject to this consent decree, with 3,838 in Minnesota alone. Dominium is also among the largest HUD-assisted property management companies in the U.S. The agreement announced Thursday includes nearly 500 units receiving some form of federal assistance. The company has agreed to remove all lead-based paint in its units at a cost of nearly $1 million and pay a $10,000 civil money penalty. In addition, Dominium will spend $70,000 on lead abatement work to be performed by the Sustainable Resources Center, a Minneapolis-based children’s health project.
Robert Zeman owns 19 residential properties containing approximately 22 units in Minnesota and has a long history of housing code violations. Nine children living in Zeman-owned properties were lead-poisoned. The government’s settlement requires Zeman to abate all lead-based paint in his properties at an estimated cost of $200,000 and pay a $2,000 penalty. In addition, HUD is actively negotiating settlements with another six landlords in Minneapolis impacting an additional 2,000 units.
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