In 1992, Congress passed the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992. This act was also known as Title X. The idea behind the legislation was to protect families from exposure to lead in paint, dust, and soil. It was section 1018 of this law that directed HUD and EPA to disclose any data concerning lead-based paint or lead-based hazards before selling or leasing any housing built before 1978.
Title X Requirements
Before a contract is ratified for selling or leasing a house, sellers, and landlords had to fulfill the following requirements:
- Give lessors or buyers an EPA-approved pamphlet that assisted in identifying and controlling lead-based paint dangers. Additionally, the brochure, "Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home," was printed in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Arabic, and Somali.
- Landlords and sellers were required to disclose any information concerning lead-based paint or lead-based hazards. This action included the location of the lead-based coverings or risks and the condition of painted surfaces.
- Supply buyers and renters with records and reports on lead-based paint or hazards of lead-based surface coverings that are available to the seller or landlord. (For multi-unit buildings, this requirement includes records and reports concerning common areas and other units, when such information came forth as a result of a building-wide evaluation).
- Attach to the lease or contract, a Lead Warning Statement, which confirms that the seller or landlord has complied with all notification requirements. This information must be in the same language as used in the rest of the contract. The attachment was signed and dated by both the sellers, landlords, agents, home buyers, or tenants.
- Provide home buyers ten days to conduct a risk assessment or paint examination for lead-based paint or lead-based hazards. If parties agree, the buyers may lengthen or shorten the time before the examination and may waive the inventory opportunity altogether.
Coverage for Different Types of Housing
In most cases, the following must comply with this rule:
- Public housing
- Federally-owned housing
- Private housing
- Buildings accepting Federal assistance
Effective Dates on Regulations
These regulations became effective in September 1996 for those transactions that affected owners of four or more residential dwellings. In December 1996, the rules for transactions by owners of 1 to 4 residential dwellings.
Sellers and lessors retained a copy of the disclosures for three years or more from the date of sale or the time of the leasing period begins.
if a buyer or renter did not receive a copy of the Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and Lead-Based Paint Hazards when you bought or leased pre-1978 housing contact 1-800-424-LEAD.
Understanding the Language
Ensuring that you and your family are safe and healthy is, understandably, a priority for those looking to find or rent a new abode. Landlords and homeowners alike, want a house that has a documented safety seal for the property. Part of getting this seal of approval includes understanding the legalese in which the HUD and EPA legislations write out their regulations. Some of the trickiest words to define are:
"The Act" is the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, 42 USC 4852d.
In possession of or reasonably obtainable by the seller or lessor at the time of disclosure
A party entering into a contract with a seller or lessor, including any party who agrees to the terms of a representative of the seller or lessor, for leasing or selling target housing
The parts of the building that are generally accessible to all residents including hallways, stairways, laundry rooms, recreational rooms, playgrounds, community centers, and boundary fences
Environmental Protection Agency
A risk assessment or review
- A thorough investigation to determine the presence of lead-based paint
- A report explaining the findings of the investigation
Lead-Based Paint Definition
Paint or surface coatings that contain lead that is equal to or over 1.0 milligram for each square centimeter, or 0.5 percent by weight
Lead-Based Paint Hazard
Any situation that causes exposure to lead because of lead-contaminated dust, soil, or paint that has deteriorated or is present in the accessible surfaces, impact services, or friction surfaces and might cause adverse results of human health as established by the appropriate Federal agency.
This term means using measures designed to reduce or eliminate human exposure to lead-based paint hazards through the use of actions such as interim controls and abatement.
This term is an on-site investigation to determine and report the existence, severity, and location of lead-based paint hazards in residential dwellings by using:
- Visual inspection
- Limited wipe sampling
- Data concerning the age and history of the housing and the occupancy by children under the age of 6
- A report explaining the results of the investigation
Target Housing Definition
Apartments or houses constructed before 1978, except buildings for the elderly or persons with disabilities (unless a child younger than 6 resides in or is likely to live in such housing)
This acronym stands for the Toxic Substances Control Act, 15 USC 2601.
- Civil monetary penalties against any person who knowingly fails to comply with any provision of this subpart under the provisions of 42 USC 3545 and 24 CFR part 30.
- A person who knowingly violates the provisions of this subpart is liable to the purchaser or lessee in an amount equal to 3 times the amount of damages incurred by such an individual.
Some Facts You May Not Know About Lead
Although when paint that contained lead was sold and used by homeowners, no one knew that lead affects children's brains, developing nervous systems, caused reduced IQs, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems.
- Adults can also face health problems due to exposure to lead. Some of these difficulties include:
- Lead found in dust, soil, or paint chips is the most common way individuals are exposed to lead. Lead dust is almost invisible.
- Lead-based paint, in over 38 million homes until being taken off the market in 1978, was ubiquitous.
- Any project taking place in targeted houses will disturb the painted surfaces and create dust and endanger you and your family.
- To avoid these hazards, follow the instructions described in this EPA document to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Even low-levels of lead can be harmful to not only children but also adults. These hazards include:
- Children can unknowingly swallow or inhale lead dust.
- Lead dust inhalation can cause high blood pressure and hypertension.
- Airborne and lead paint can cause individuals to breathe in dust or fumes.
- Those who sand, scrape, burn, brush, blast, or otherwise disturb lead-based paint risk exposure to lead.
- Pregnant women who are exposed to lead paint can transfer the lead to their fetuses.
To find out if your family is exposed to lead paint dust, a blood test is necessary. These tests are available from your doctor or local health department.
Your local health department advises on ways to reduce or eliminate exposure to lead inside and outside your home, school, or childcare facility.
When renovating or repairing a home, use lead-safe work practices when painted surfaces may be disturbed.
Get more information from epa.gov or call 1-800-424-LEAD.
Understand that lead can also be present in:
- Lead-glazed pottery
- Lead crystal
- Outside soil, and more
Additional Ways to Protect Your Family
You can decrease the possibility of lead poisoning by doing these repetitive tasks:
- Clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces regularly.
- Wipe off shoes before entering your house.
- Wash children's hands, pacifiers, bottles, and toys consistently.
- Offer your children healthy, nutritious diets that are consistent with the USDA's dietary guidelines. The better your child's health, the better he or she can protect themselves against the effects of lead.
If you are planning to hire a contractor to get rid of any lead problems that might exist in your home, make sure you know who you are hiring. These are the EPA suggestions:
- Verify that your contractor is verified by looking for his or her company on EPA's website at epa.gov/getleadsafe. You can also ask the contractor for his or her firm certification papers.
- Ask for references from recent jobs involving target homes.
- Ask the team for a copy of the lead-safe work practices training certificate.
- Ask what lead-safe methods they will use on your job.
- Specify in your contract that the team will use work practices described on pages 9 and 10 in the EPA brochure.
- The EPA requires cleaning verification from the contractor.
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About the author
Matt Angerer is the Founder and President of VerticalRent. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics that help Landlords, Property Managers, and Renters across America. He is particularly interested in helping renters understand their local marketplace, pick the best places to live, and find an awesome roommate. Since 2011, VerticalRent has grown to service over 100,000 landlords and renters across America.