Lead-Based Paint: Notice Requirements imposed by Federal Law on Sellers, Property Managers, Landlords and Real Estate Agents

In 1978 the federal government banned consumer uses of lead-based paint, thus effectively stopping the use of lead-based paint in all housing across the country. Prior to that date, lead-based paint was widely used including in housing and homes constructed prior to that date.  If properly managed lead-based paint poses little, if any risk to human health. If allowed to deteriorate (peeling, chipping, chalking, cracking, damaged, or damp), lead-based paint is a potential hazard. It can cause serious health problems, especially to children and pregnant women.

Homebuyers

Federal law requires that before being obligated under a contract to buy housing built prior to 1978, buyers must receive the following from the seller:

  • An EPA-approved information pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards titled Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home.
  • Any known information concerning the presence of lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards in the home or building.
    • For multi-unit buildings, this requirement includes records and reports concerning common areas and other units when such information was obtained as a result of a building-wide evaluation.
  • An attachment to the contract, or language inserted in the contract, that includes a “Lead Warning Statement” and confirms that the seller has complied with all notification requirements.
  • A 10-day period to conduct a paint inspection or risk assessment for lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards. Parties may mutually agree, in writing, to lengthen or shorten the time period for inspection. Homebuyers may waive this inspection opportunity. If you have a concern about possible lead-based paint, you may secure a lead inspection from a certified inspector before buying.

Renters

Federal law requires that before signing a lease for housing built before 1978, renters must receive the following from your landlord:

  • An EPA-approved information pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards, Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home.
  • Any known information concerning the presence of lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards in the home or building.
    • For multi-unit buildings, this requirement includes records and reports concerning common areas and other units when such information was obtained as a result of a building-wide evaluation.
  • An attachment to the contract, or language inserted in the contract, that includes a “Lead Warning Statement” and confirms that the landlord has complied with all notification requirements.

Property Managers and Landlords

As owners, landlords, agents, and managers of rental property, you play an important role in protecting the health of your tenants and their children. Buildings built before 1978 are much more likely to have lead-based paint. Federal law requires you to provide certain important information about lead paint before a prospective renter is obligated under lease to rent from you.

Landlords must give prospective tenants of buildings built before 1978:

  • An EPA-approved information pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards, Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home.
  • Any known information concerning lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards pertaining to the building.
    • For multi-unit buildings this requirement includes records and reports concerning common areas and other units when such information was obtained as a result of a building-wide evaluation.
  • A lead disclosure attachment to the lease, or language inserted in the lease, that includes a “Lead Warning Statement” and confirms that you have complied with all notification requirements.

Real Estate Agents and Home Sellers

As real estate agents and home sellers, you play an important role in protecting the health of families purchasing and moving into your home. Buildings built before 1978 are much more likely to have lead-based paint. Federal law requires you to provide certain important information about lead paint before a prospective buyer is obligated under a contract to purchase your home.

Real estate agents must:

  • Inform the seller of his or her obligations under the Real Estate Notification and Disclosure Rule. In addition, the agent is responsible if the seller or lessor fails to comply; unless the failure involves specific lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazard information that the seller or lessor did not disclose to the agent. Read the regulations that includes these requirements.
  • Provide, as part of the contract process, an EPA-approved information pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards titled Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home. Attach to contract, or insert language in the contract, a “Lead Warning Statement” and confirmation that you have complied with all notification requirements.
  • Provide a 10-day period to conduct a paint inspection or risk assessment for lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards. Parties may mutually agree, in writing, to lengthen or shorten the time period for inspection. Homebuyers may waive this inspection opportunity.

A copy of the pamphlet Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home is available at:

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-06/documents/pyf_color_landscape_format_2017_508.pdf

For information on the federal Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule see my August 30, 2017 Wladis Law Firm Blog Post.

Kevin C. Murphy is a member of the Wladis Law Firm, P.C., located in Syracuse, New York. Should you be confronted with lead paint or lead paint renovation issues, please feel free to contact Attorney Murphy or Attorney Timothy Lambrecht of the Wladis Law Firm to determine if we can be of assistance to you. 

Picture:
http://homepainting.gypsum-banjarmasin.info/2014/12/31/homes-with-lead-based-paint/

Kevin Murphy

Kevin C. Murphy concentrates his practice in the areas of environmental compliance and litigation; environmental and white-collar criminal defense, and complex litigation matters. Mr. Murphy is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and a former senior trial attorney with both the Kings County (NY) District Attorney’s office and the U.S. Department of Justice Environmental Crimes Section in Washington, D.C. He previously taught a seminar on environmental criminal enforcement at the Syracuse University School of Law and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America.

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