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Legally speaking: Is a lead-based paint disclosure form required when renting a pre-1978 house?

By Lorie Garland, OAR Assistant Vice President of Legal Services

The OAR Legal Assistance Hotline receives an array of real estate-related legal questions — including license law issues, disclosure, contract law, ethics and commission problems, among others. In an effort to help you work within the law, our “Legally Speaking” series spotlights some of the timely questions that are being asked by REALTORS. This one involves rules about providing a Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Form…  

Q: Is the federal Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Form required when renting a house built before 1978? Is any other lead-based paint information required to be provided to the tenant?

A: Yes. The HUD/EPA Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Form is required in the rental of pre-1978 housing. Also required is the EPA pamphlet “Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home.” Both the disclosure form and the pamphlet must be provided to the tenant prior to entering into the lease.

The Lead Disclosure Rule requires landlords to disclose to tenants their knowledge regarding lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards in the property and to provide any records and reports regarding lead-based paint that the landlord has.

HUD and the EPA continue to diligently enforce the Lead Disclosure Rule requirements as evidenced by a recent settlement agreement entered into with a Cincinnati landlord. In this case, the landlord had knowledge of lead-based paint on the property due to lead inspections performed after children who lived at the property were identified as having elevated blood lead levels. An investigation revealed that tenants were not being properly informed of the lead-based paint hazards on the property. The settlement agreement requires the landlord to replace windows and clean up lead-based paint hazards in 136 residential properties containing a total of 224 units. In addition to the $350,000 worth of lead abatement work being performed, the landlord was assessed a civil penalty of $7,500. Also, the landlord had to ensure that future tenants would receive accurate lead-based paint information prior to being obligated under their lease.

Tags: legal, Legally Speaking