Know About Tenant Lead Disclosure

A Landlord’s Obligation: What Prospective Tenants Should Know About Tenant Lead Disclosure and Their Prospective Rental Home

If you’re renting an apartment, what responsibilities does the landlord have in telling you about the rental property? In the 1900s, the government had to act on the issue of lead poisoning as the health hazards started to emerge.

The Government’s Answer To Tenant Lead Poisoning In Rental Homes

In 1992, Title X (also called Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act) was passed in an effort to decrease how many lead poisoning victims they are in the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency enforces Title X. It also enforces the regulations that are tied to Title X on rental property buildings that are built before 1978.

To comply with the agency’s regulations, landlords must inform potential tenants about known lead-based paint or other lead hazards about the property before the lease is signed. For it to be valid, both the tenant and landlord must sign the EPA-approved document that says the landlord did disclose any and all known lead on the property. The landlord must hold onto the documents for a minimum of years after the relationship between the landlord and tenant has begun.

Along with the EPA approved document and this disclosure, the landlord must give every tenant the EPA pamphlet entitled “Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home” or state-approved pamphlet.

Should a fail to comply with the above procedures, he/she could face fines of $10,000 a piece from the EPA. If the landlord does not disclose about known lead in the property and a tenant is harmed by it, the landlord could pay up to three times the damages in a lawsuit.

Title X Lead Disclosure Laws Doesn’t Cover What Kinds Of Rental Properties

There are six types of properties that the EPA’s Title X does not cover. They are:

1 - Studio apartments, efficiencies, lofts and other residential leased properties that have no bedrooms to them.
2 - Housing that had a construction permit issued after 1978 or construction on housing that began after Jan. 1, 1978.
3 – One-bedroom rooms that are rented in larger residential building.
4 – Short-term rentals of less than 100 days.
5 – Housing that’s been checked out by a certified lead inspector.
6 – Housing designed for the elderly or persons who have disabilities unless a child under the age of six years old is expected to live in the building.

Renovating Rental Property: What Must A Landlord Disclose About Lead

A landlord, to protect the tenants of any of his/her rental properties, must give notice whenever he/she plans on renovating a rental unit or the common area that was original built before 1978. Under the agency’s regulations, the landlord will need to give all tenants 60 days notice before the renovations take place. For projects to be classified as a renovation, it needs to be change that has a probability of disturbing the painted surfaces. Of course, there are exceptions to the emergency renovations and minor repairs.

If a renovation is happening in the rental unit that’s occupied, the landlord must give the tenant a copy of the EPA pamphlet. If it’s being taken place in the rental building’s common area, the person making the change must give every person notice of the work being done, where it will take place and the dates it will start and end.

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