Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Two Vermont Landlords Settle Claims For Filing False Lead Compliance Documents

May 3, 2016

CONTACT: Justin Kolber, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-5620

Shires Housing, Inc. of Bennington, and Cynthia McTaggart of Rutland, two Vermont landlords, settled claims that they filed false lead paint compliance documents in violation of Vermont consumer protection and lead laws.

Every landlord with pre-1978 rental properties is required to submit annual compliance statements which show that the landlords have performed the essential maintenance practices (known as EMPs) and the properties are in compliance with the lead law. The Department of Health conducted inspections of properties in Bennington and Rutland and found that several properties were not in compliance, contrary to certified statements that were filed with the Department.

“Being truthful that rental properties are lead safe and compliant is one of the most important requirements of the lead law. Strong consequences will follow for violating that trust,” said Attorney General Sorrell.

Both Shires Housing and Cynthia McTaggart were each assessed a penalty of $20,000, which was reduced based on a demonstrated inability to pay. Shires Housing is a non-profit organization that provides affordable housing for limited income residents. Under the terms of the settlement, Shires Housing will pay a reduced penalty of $1,000 for the false filing of lead compliance documents. Similarly, under her settlement, Cynthia McTaggart, a private landlord, will also pay a reduced penalty of $1,000 for the false filing of lead compliance documents.

For information concerning the Vermont lead law, including the duties of property owners, and for copies of court documents from recent enforcement actions involving lead, see the Attorney General’s website at:http://www.ago.vermont.gov and click on “Lead.”

Last modified: January 19, 2018