Lead Paint Questions #1: Is EPA disclosure required for buildings certified to be lead-free?

Is lead based paint disclosure required if a lead paint analysis was done and came back clean? This, along with one other question, was asked by a client recently, and we thought some of our other readers would be interested in the result of our research.

As explained on the EPA website HERE, housing built before 1978 may contain lead-based paint. Lead from paint, paint chips, and dust can pose health hazards if not managed properly. Lead exposure is especially harmful to young children and pregnant women. Before renting pre-1978 housing, owner/agents must disclose the presence of known lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards in the dwelling. Residents must also receive a federally approved pamphlet on lead poisoning prevention. Providing the EPA-required documents, explaining the forms and gathering signatures is a significant commitment for older properties targeted by these requirements. So what if a property has been certified lead-free?

64 FR 50201 § 35.82 tells us that lead-based paint disclosure requirements apply to “all transactions to sell or lease target housing, including subleases, with the exception of the following: (a) Sales of target housing at foreclosure. (b) Leases of target housing that have been found to be lead-based paint free by an inspector certified under the Federal certification program or under a federally accredited State or tribal certification program.”

Does this apply to affordable housing? Yes. The HUD handbook 4350.3, Figure 6-5, second paragraph, establishes that the above applies specifically to federally funded properties.

Conclusion: If a property is certified by an accredited inspector, the EPA disclosure documentation to tenants would not be required.

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