D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine announced that his office secured a court order against a Ward 4 landlord that requires them to clean up toxic lead hazards at three apartment buildings on Kansas Ave NE.
In a lawsuit it filed in February, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) had accused the landlord, the D.C.-based real estate company 76 M Inc. and Peter Odagbodo, of being neglegtful by “exposing tenants to unsafe conditions, including vermin infestations, mold, and fire and electrical hazards” as well as failing to address the hazardous lead paint problem.
According to OAG, tenants, including at least two children younger than five, are endangered by the toxic lead hazards in question.
The court order came only two weeks after OAG filed its lawsuit. The building owners now has to finish the lead cleanup by March 13.
— AG Karl A. Racine (@AGKarlRacine) March 4, 2020
As part of the ongoing suit, OAG also seeks “to force the landlord to make necessary building repairs, as well as recover monetary and injunctive relief for harmed tenants.”
“It is illegal in the District of Columbia for landlords to expose residents to toxic lead paint, which causes serious health consequences, including irreversible brain damage in children,” Racine was quoted as saying.
“We filed suit to force this property owner to fulfill its legal obligation to repair the buildings and make them safe and habitable for tenants. While experience demonstrates that most landlords in the District follow the law, the Office of the Attorney General will take legal action to force neglectful landlords to protect tenants’ health and wellbeing.”
Lead is a toxic metal known for potentially causing painful physical harms such as organ and brain damage. It could particularly affect young children.