Disclosing Lead-Based Paint in Rentals

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on August 12, 2011 under Landlord Paperwork and Forms | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

tenant screening, tenant credit checkIf you’re a landlord who owns older rentals, you may be at risk for liability if you don’t properly disclose the possibility of lead-based paint. Lead-based paint was commonly used prior to 1978, when it was banned. If it cracks, peels or is scraped or sanded, it can still pose a health hazard, particularly to children who ingest paint chips or breathe the dust. Lead paint still exists in many older homes.

The Residential Lead-Based paint Hazard Reduction Act, commonly known as Title X, was enacted in 1992. The Environmental Protection Agency regulates the act for all rental properties built before 1978.

Under Title X, landlords must disclose any known lead-based paint or hazards on the property to tenants before signing or renewing a lease or rental agreement. The tenants and landlord must sign an EPA-approved form to prove the landlord disclosed information about any known lead on the premises. The landlord must also provide tenants a brochure, “Protecting Your Family From Lead in Your Home,” supplied by the EPA or the state. The brochure is available online or you can request printed brochures from the National Lead Information Clearinghouse at 800-424-5323.

Property owners are not required to test for lead or remove it. And, certain properties are exempt from the lead disclosure requirement:

  • Lofts, efficiencies and studio apartments
  • Short-term vacation rentals of 200 days or less
  • Single rooms rented in a residence
  • A building certified as lead-free by an accredited lead inspector
  • Housing designed for person with disabilities, unless children live there
  • Retirement communities, unless children are expected to live there
  • Housing built after January 1, 1978

Lead-based paint should not be removed unless proper precautions are taken. Even low levels in the bloodstream pose serious health risks to everyone, but especially children and pregnant women. Landlords should read the EPA brochure to become familiar with the dangers and regulations surrounding lead-based paint.

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