Lead Paint Questions #2: Is EPA disclosure required for senior housing?

In our last article, we discovered that older properties are exempt from lead paint disclosure requirements if they are certified lead free. Now we will examine if disclosure is required for a property designed to house the elderly. These questions were asked by readers 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 exposure is especially harmful to young children and pregnant women. Before renting pre-1978 housing, property owners must disclose the presence of known lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards in the dwelling and provide a federally approved pamphlet on lead poisoning prevention. Providing the EPA-required documents, explaining the forms and gathering signatures is a significant commitment for properties targeted by these requirements. What if a property is not likely to house children or pregnant woman, which is often the case with housing designed for elderly persons?

When discussing EPA requirements, the fourth paragraph in Figure 6-5 of Handbook 4350.3 clarifies an exemption for housing specifically designed for the elderly or persons with disabilities. However, this only applies if a child under age 6 is not expected to reside in the unit. The Handbook explains that, "if a property is exempt, the owner does not need to comply with the [disclosure] requirements..." (HUD 4350.3 6-8 (A))

Conclusion: If a property is designed for the elderly or persons with disabilities, and if a child under age 6 is not expected to reside in the unit, an owner is not required to provide EPA lead paint documentation to a new household.

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