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Lead Based Paint Disclosure Form

Updated on August 10, 2023

A lead-based paint disclosure form is a federally mandated document in the United States designed to inform potential renters or buyers about the risks associated with lead-based paint in residential properties. This requirement stems from the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992. In essence, if a residential property was constructed before 1978, the year when lead-based paint was banned for consumer use, landlords and sellers are obligated to disclose any known presence of this paint or its associated hazards.

The primary concern with lead-based paint is the potential health risks, especially to children. When lead-based paint deteriorates or is disturbed, it can produce lead dust or chips that can be harmful if ingested or inhaled.

HUD and EPA Guidelines on Lead-Based Paint Disclosure

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have set forth specific guidelines regarding the disclosure of lead-based paint:

  • Disclosure of Known Hazards: Landlords and sellers must disclose any known information about lead-based paint or related hazards in the property.
  • Provision of Records and Reports: Any available records or reports concerning lead-based paint hazards must be provided to potential renters or buyers.
  • EPA Pamphlet Distribution: Landlords and sellers must give potential renters or buyers an EPA-approved pamphlet titled “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home,” which educates about the dangers of lead-based paint.
  • Signed Acknowledgment: Renters or buyers must sign an acknowledgment form confirming they received all the necessary information and the EPA pamphlet.

Exceptions to the Disclosure Requirement

Certain types of housing are exempt from the lead-based paint disclosure requirement:

  • Housing built after January 1, 1978.
  • Housing for the elderly or disabled (unless a child resides or is expected to reside there).
  • Zero-bedroom dwellings (e.g., lofts, efficiencies, studios).
  • Short-term rentals (less than 100 days).

Checking Your Home for Lead

If you suspect the presence of lead-based paint in your home, it’s crucial to take action:

  • Visual Inspection: Check for chipping, peeling, or deteriorating paint.
  • Lead Dust Test: Use a lead dust test kit available at home improvement stores.
  • Professional Inspection: Hire a certified lead inspector or risk assessor to check your home. You can search for the nearest EPA-certified abatement firm by visiting the EPA’s website.

Tenant Rights Regarding Lead-Based Paint

Tenants have specific rights when it comes to lead-based paint:

  • Right to Disclosure: Before signing a lease, tenants have the right to know about any known lead-based paint or hazards in the property.
  • Receipt of EPA Pamphlet: Tenants must receive the “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home” pamphlet.
  • Review of Reports: If available, tenants have the right to review any reports related to lead-based paint in the property.

EPA Pamphlet

The EPA's pamphlet, mandatory alongside the lead-based paint disclosure form, informs about the dangers of lead in homes built before 1978. It emphasizes lead-based paint risks, prevention tips, and landlords' disclosure duties, serving as an essential guide for safe housing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does lead-based paint affect health?

Prolonged exposure to lead, especially in children, can lead to developmental issues, learning disabilities, and other health complications.

Is it mandatory for landlords to remove lead-based paint?

While landlords must disclose its presence, they aren’t always required to remove it. However, they must address peeling or chipping paint in properties with known lead-based paint.

What should I do if I suspect lead paint in my rental property?

If your home was built before 1978 and you suspect lead paint, consider getting a professional assessment. Inform your landlord if you find any hazards.

Are there penalties for landlords who don't comply with the Lead-Based Paint Act?

Yes, landlords who fail to provide the necessary disclosures can face significant fines and legal consequences.

Can I break my lease if I discover undisclosed lead paint in my rental?

If a landlord didn’t provide the required disclosure, it might be possible to break the lease. However, it’s essential to consult with legal counsel in such situations.