Lead Certifications Deadlines Approaching For Many Residential Properties

Written by: Alex Goldberg

Beginning in late 2020, the City of Philadelphia began requiring landlords operating rental properties to obtain lead certificates in order to obtain or renew rental licenses, before signing or renewing leases, and before accepting rental payment for properties. This law, enacted as Bill #180936, applies regardless of whether there is a child aged six or younger residing in the property, unlike the former law, which applied only if there was a child aged six or younger living in the unit.


Bill #18036 was created in order to address potential developmental problems caused by lead poisoning. Exposure to even small amounts of lead in childhood can cause lifelong learning and behavior problems. The purpose of the law is to prevent children from becoming lead poisoned, and to ensure that they live in lead-free or lead-safe housing by requiring landlords to certify that a property is lead-safe or lead-free. Despite years of progress, each year significant numbers of children in Philadelphia suffer the irreparable harm of lead poisoning because of exposure to deteriorated lead paint and lead dust in their homes. More than half of these children are living with their families in rental units. This new law recognizes that even if young children do not reside at an address at that time, they may visit or live there in the future, and therefore every rental property must be safe.


A PA-certified Risk Assessor or EPA-certified Lead Dust Sampling Technician must do the lead testing. A Lead Dust Sampling Technician (LDST) or PA-Certified Risk Assessor can provide a lead-safe certificate. Lead safe certification means that a certified lead dust sampling technician or a licensed lead inspector-risk assessor has: 1) determined the property is free of deteriorated, flaking, chipping, peeling, chalking or not-intact paint, and 2) interior dust samples were collected, tested, and found not to contain hazardous levels of lead-contaminated dust. Lead-safe certifications are good for four years, so landlords that came into compliance when the ordinance was enacted may be due for certification later this year.


Please reach out to Alex Goldberg at alex.goldberg@nochumson.com with questions regarding the lead certification process or for an introduction to a PA-certified Risk Assessor or EPA-certified Lead Dust Sampling Technician.