L.A. Property Managers Settle Federal Lead-Based Paint Cases

From a Times Staff Writer

Two Los Angeles property management companies have agreed to pay fines, donate money to local hospitals and clean up lead-based paint at more than 4,500 apartment units nationwide as part of a settlement with the U.S. government.

SK Management Co. and a series of firms related to Alpha Property Management Inc. agreed to the settlements after allegedly failing to notify their tenants that they faced health hazards from living in homes that possibly contained lead-based paint.

Most of the apartments are in Los Angeles. The firms will pay $40,000 in penalties, including $12,000 to the state of California. In addition, SK Management will donate $25,000 to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and Alpha Property Management will give $35,000 to Martin Luther King, Jr./Charles Drew Medical Center, to test children for lead poisoning and do community outreach on the problem.

The legal action was the result of a joint initiative between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the departments of Justice and Housing and Urban Development. Since the initiative began in the late 1990s, it has led to legal settlements that will clean up lead-based paint at more than 8,000 Los Angeles apartment units.