Older rental properties in California still exist and as of 2019 there still are a fair amount of properties on the rental market today that contain lead-based paint although it’s been banned in the United States since the late 1970s.
Lead-based paint exposure can cause weakness, kidney damage, weakness and so many other bad symptoms that it’s easy to see why it was banned but in old homes, the culprit is still there even if it’s been painted over a few times with other layers of paint.
Although most landlords don’t let the paint chip or flake off in their rental properties, if lead-based paint is allowed to flake off it can be hazardous for small children and dangerous for the environment if the paint chips or flakes are left on the ground.
Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Requirements for Landlords
All sellers and landlords must disclose the presence of any known lead in a home or rental. Here are the steps, according to the EPA, landlords need to take to make sure they are following the letter of the law.
- Disclose any known information on the presence of lead-based paint in the building. That includes any common areas like laundry rooms or lounges.
- Include a lead disclosure attachment to the lease or language in the lease that includes a Lead Warning Statement, and lets tenants know you’ve complied with all notification requirements.
- Keep lead-based paint disclosure forms for at least three years after the lease of an apartment or other property.
- Provide an EPA-approved pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards to tenants.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides the lead paint hazard pamphlet in several languages. They also provide the Lead Warning Statement in both Spanish and English.
To disclose the presence of lead, give prospective tenants any records about the inspection for or discovery of lead paint.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to provide this information every time a tenant renews, just when a new tenant is ready to sign a lease.
Lead Paint Disclosure Exemptions
Aside from renewals, there are other situations where you don’t have to provide a lead paint disclosure:
- If your unit or property was built after Jan. 1, 1978
- If your unit is a studio or loft with no bedrooms
- If you’re renting for less than 100 days, like those on Airbnb
- If your unit or building has passed a lead-free inspection by a state-certified inspector
Lead paint disclosure is an important part of the rental process, particularly if you rent to families with little children. Take steps to give your new tenants all the information they need and ensure they have peace of mind that makes a happy, healthy home.
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