Connecticut landlords accused of not telling tenants about potentially dangerous lead levels settled with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, agreeing to clean up any hazards and pay a total of $18,000, HUD said today.

Klee Properties, owned by Menachem Gurevitch, and five other affiliated property companies agreed to disclose any known lead-based paint hazards to their tenants and to test for and clean up any hazards, including the replacement of windows, in nearly 200 apartments in the New Haven area, HUD said.

In addition, Klee and its affiliates will pay $3,000 to the U.S. Treasury and contribute $15,000 to the Pediatrics Department at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, HUD said.

This contribution will be used to treat lead-poisoned children, to educate the public on the dangers of lead exposure and to help relocate lower-income families into lead-safe housing, according to HUD. More information about that program is available at the center’s Web site.

“Every landlord has an obligation to inform their tenants if there’s a potential risk of lead poisoning just as every family deserves a safe and healthy home in which to raise their children,” said HUD Deputy Secretary Roy A. Bernardi in a statement.

“Today’s settlement should remind all landlords and home sellers that the law is clear when it comes to disclosing possible health hazards due to lead-based paint,” Bernardi said.

HUD said its investigation found the following property companies failed to properly disclose lead hazards to their tenants: Klee II LLC; T&G Investments LLC; T&G Apartments LLC; Chapel Apartments LLC; Derby Apartments LLC; and Megur LLC.

HUD began its investigation in the fall of 2002 after receiving complaints of violations of the Lead Disclosure Rule, the agency said. HUD reviewed leases from nine residential buildings in the New Haven area containing 195 units.

The department said its investigation uncovered violations of the Lead Disclosure Rule in more than 125 lease transactions, including a multi-unit building where four children were lead-poisoned and the tenants in the building were not properly warned of the lead-based paint hazards.

Lead exposure causes reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays, reduced height, poorer hearing, and a host of other health problems in young children, HUD said.


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