Landlord’s Responsibility for Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
Written by: Alan Nochumson
Once used widely in homes and most other buildings, lead-based paint was banned in the United States in 1978, due to health and safety concerns. Lead has been proven to be especially hazardous to small children, with exposure potentially leading to anemia, kidney, and possible brain damage. In 2012, the Philadelphia City Code was amended to include the Philadelphia Lead Paint Disclosure and Certification Law. The law requires owners of properties built before 1978 to provide the tenant with certification prepared by a dust wipe technician stating that the property is either lead-safe or lead-free. Without doing so, the landlord or property manager cannot execute a new or renewed lease or receive or renew a rental license.
Where Can Lead Be Found
It is important to know which areas of a home present the greatest risk and where to look for lead-based paint hazards. Most commonly. hazard spots are found in high traffic areas within the home, including materials that get moved around or are touched frequently. Specifically, the following areas are where lead-based paint will be most often present:
- Window sills and frames
- Doors and door frames
Look for chipping, cracking, peeling, chalking, or even dampening, as this may disturb lead paint and leave particles to be ingested.
Lead Paint Disclosure Requirements for Landlords
Upon change of occupancy, landlords must provide a Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) Lead-Safe Certificate or Lead-Free Certificate to every new tenant who will be residing in a property built before 1978. The landlord is required to send the PDPH a copy of the lead-safe certificate signed by the tenant.
On a federal level, landlords must:
- 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.
Obtaining the proper lead-based paint disclosure documentation will keep you and your property compliant and your tenants safe. At Nochumson P.C., we are more than legal counsel. We are people serving our neighbors and community in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Knowing that real communication between real people can help lead to real positive results, our team of attorneys are available 24/7 to help answer your legal questions and to fight for you with skill and fortitude, whatever the case may be. When you hire us, you can expect a sensible and cost-effective approach to legal counsel. We think fast, think ahead, and get things done. Contact us today or call us at (215) 399-1346 to see how we can represent you.