Failure to follow EPA lead disclosure rules can cost you

Back in 1996 the EPA felt that we needed help understanding that eating lead paint or breathing in its dust is not a good idea, so it put into effect the Real Estate Notification Rule, aka the Lead Disclosure Rule. The Lead Disclosure Rule applies to sellers and lessors and/or their agents of residential property that pre-dates 1978.

If you want to lease out a house or apartment or sell your home, and it was built before 1978 you must do the following, with certain exceptions:

  •  Provide the prospective tenant or purchasers with a copy of the EPA pamphlet “Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home.”―God forbid if Junior gets a sudden urge to lick the wall.
  •  Provide the prospective tenant or purchaser with a Lead Warning Statement.
  • Provide the purchaser with 10 days to inspect the residence for lead-based paint.
  • Indicate to the prospective tenant or purchaser whether you have actual documented knowledge of the presence of lead paint in the residence to be rented or sold.
  • Provide certifications and acknowlegements for the lead-based paint requirements in the sale agreement or lease, either as an attachment to it or included in the body of the sale agreement or lease.

The exemptions to application of the Lead Disclosure Rule include a residential unit that is a zero bedroom dwelling, if it is housing for the elderly (and no children under 6 years old reside there), or if the residential unit has been certified as “lead-based paint free” by a ceritfied lead-based paint inspector or risk assessor.


It’s been 15 years and I think people are well aware now of the risks surrounding lead-based paint. However, if you think these rules have fallen by the wayside, think again. A landlord in Massachusetts recently settled a claim brought by the EPA against it for failing to provide a copy of the EPA’s pamphlet to some of its tenants and not including a lease warning statement in the lease. The amount of the settlement? $6,000.



Testing for Lead said...

Currently, a lead test kit can be EPA-recognized if it meets the negative response criterion of no more than 5 percent false negatives, with 95 percent confidence for paint containing lead at or above the regulated level, 1.0 mg/cm2 or 0.5 percent by weight.

EPA Approved Lead Test Kits said...

Children younger than 6 year-old are particularly susceptible to lead poisoning, which often can seriously affect physical and mental growth. At extremely high amounts, lead poisoning could be deadly.

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