The inspector returned to give the property owner and his handyman instructions on how to clean the yard. These instructions were so ridiculous it feels silly writing them: The contractor was advised to “mop” everything 3 times and to use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. Now, if you could picture my yard (see photo!), it’s a classic LA desert-like yard, basically all dirt with a single
stone patio taking up perhaps 15% of the area. The notion that you could vacuum up dust from dry dirt (particularly in the middle of a drought) is ridiculous. Nor, obviously, could you mop it. Only when I asked the inspector did he agree to come take soil samples after the cleanup.
So the work has been carried out but we can no longer open our windows, let our dogs in the yard, or, really, spend time there ourselves. We got our neighbor to reimburse us for a green maid service to do a deep clean of our home, car-detailing to remove dust there, dog washing and purchasing an air filter tower (with appropriate filter) for our home, which we were pleased with, but when he paid us, he asked us to sign a release of liability.
We’d like to sue as a way to penalize him, but a personal injury lawyer tells me this would only be possible if we could demonstrate Gus had been damaged—which, of course, is the last thing we want. Mostly I guess I write to get this off my chest and to express my frustration that the guy who did this will face only the “penalty” of getting a one hour lecture from the lead abatement program. Only on the second offense does he face a misdemeanor charge.