SD Leaders Planning Lead Rental Crackdown

City's Public Safety Committee Cites 10News I-Team Investigation On Properties With Lead Hazards

San Diego city leaders are planning a crackdown on landlords renting properties with lead hazards after a 10News I-Team investigation found lead rentals rampant throughout the city.

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The I-Team's initial investigation checked eight separate properties which were all built before 1978. Properties built prior to 1978 are most likely to have used lead during construction. None of the landlords of those eight properties said anything about the possibility of lead being present in the property.

"I tend to believe we need to do a better job enforcing a very important ordinance," said San Diego City Council Member Marti Emerald.

The city's Public Safety Committee cites the I-Team's initial investigation as evidence of the problem.

The committee members claim there are not enough inspectors to monitor those renting a property that possibly has lead in it. They say there are loopholes in the current city ordinance, which requires landlords to tell people if there is lead in a property.

"We're seeing children – mostly lower income – being poisoned by lead and that impacts them their entire life," Emerald said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ingesting lead-based paint can adversely affect a child's ability to learn.

Since the economic recession, the city has cut the number of the staff members in charge of code enforcement in half. The inspectors in that office are the ones responsible for monitoring lead in property.

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