Understanding Lead-Based Paint Disclosures

The importance of disclosing the presence of lead-based paint

A display of various gear and tools used for interior home painting against a white wall. A ladder, paint roller, paint bucket, tape, tarp and other tools are visible.

Landlords have a legal obligation to go beyond simply maintaining a habitable property. They are also responsible for disclosing any potential health risks inherent on the property, including lead-based paint. Lead exposure can be extremely harmful, and as such, tenants must be informed about it's possible presence on the property. This transparency empowers tenants to make informed decisions about their living environment and protects landlords from potential legal issues arising from non-disclosure.

What is the Lead-Based Paint Disclosure and Why is it Required?

Landlords are legally required to provide tenants with a lead-based paint disclosure form as a part of the lease before they move into the property. The role of this document is to inform tenants of the potential presence of lead-based paint in the property, regardless of whether it's currently visible or on the property. The disclosure should also outline any safety measures tenants can take to minimize risks.

The importance of lead disclosure stems from the previously unknown dangers of lead poisoning. Lead, once a common paint additive, was banned from being used in residential and commercial painting in 1977 due to it's hazardous effects. Lead exposure can cause a range of health issues, including seizures, developmental delays, nausea, kidney damage, and brain damage. Children are especially vulnerable as they're more likely to ingest lead through paint chips or dust.

While lead-based paint is no longer used, it can still be present in homes built before 1978. Landlords are obligated to disclose this potential hazard, empowering tenants to make informed decisions about their living environment.

Lead-Based Paint Laws

The EPA outlines a specific process that landlords and property managers need to adhere to when disclosing the potential dangers of lead-based paint to tenants.

  1. Provide the tenant with the EPA-approved documentation about the health hazards lead paint presents, and how to identify lead paint.
  2. Share any information you have about the presence of lead-based paint on the property with the tenants, and point out the areas of the property that you know contained said paint.
  3. Provide tenants with a copy of any tests you've had done on the property to check for lead-based paint.
  4. Include a disclosure form as an addendum on the lease and have all the tenants on the property sign it acknowledging they received and understood it.
  5. Store the disclosure and hold onto it for at least three years following the signing.

What Should be Included in a Lead-Based Paint Disclosure

Your disclosure must include the following information:

  1. A general acknowledgment of the dangers of lead-based paint and the existence of laws related to its dangers.
  2. Disclosure of your awareness of the presence of any lead-based paint on the property. You must also disclose if you are unsure of the existence of any lead-based paint.
  3. All reports and tests that have been done on the property and the results of said investigations.
  4. A signature section on the disclosure for the tenant to acknowledge they received the disclosure as well as a copy of the EPA-approved brochure about lead paint.
  5. A space for the landlord to sign stating that they provided the required disclosures to the tenants.

Providing a lead-based paint disclosure to your tenants isn't only about fulfilling a legal requirement; it offers important benefits for both parties.

Landlord Protection: A signed disclosure serves as documented proof that you did your due diligence in informing tenants about potential lead hazards, potentially shielding you from lawsuits in case of lead-related illness.

Tenant Education: Disclosures provide tenants with vital knowledge about the risks of lead-based paint, allowing them to take necessary steps to protect themselves and their families beyond their time living at your property.

By prioritizing lead-based paint disclosures, you can promote a safe and informed living environment for your tenants while safeguarding your own interests.

Created on: 05/15/24

Author: CreditLink Secure Blog Team

Tags: lead, paint , lead-based paint , disclosures , lease disclosures , addendums , health and safety,

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