Lead-based paint was the most widely used paint before it was proven to have some lasting effects. It gained popularity because of its moisture resistance and minimal drying time. However, what many people did not know at the time is that lead paint is like a ticking time bomb in any home. Its toxicity can lead to brain damage, organ failure, and even death.
Health problems resulting from lead-based paint are especially prevalent in expectant mothers and small children because of its sweet taste and application in the manufacturing of toys. But, lead can also affect animals and people of different ages.
What Is the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act?
The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, also known as Title X law, is a law enacted by Congress in 1992. The law is geared towards regulating the sale of houses painted with lead paint and sensitizing people on the effects of lead paint in the U.S. We have the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to thank for this law. The two made great lobbying efforts that culminated in the enactment of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act.
At the dawn of the 20th century, the broad use of lead-based paint became catastrophic after it was discovered that the metal had toxic elements. The use and application of lead were discontinued in 1978, making it essential for property owners and buyers to know about the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act.
Here are three things you should know about the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act.
1. Landlords Are Required to Inform Tenants About Any Possible Presence of Lead Paint
The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act stipulates that before you rent or lease a house, the landlords must declare the presence of any lead paint or evidence of lead poisoning from paint within the property before signing. The landlord must also educate you about the harmful effects of lead paint, not just the evidence of it on the premises.
Suppose the property is being leased or sold by an agency? In that case, the agency has the responsibility to make the person leasing or seller aware of their commitment under the Act for compliance purposes. A fine of no less than $63,500 per transaction may be imposed for failure to comply.
The Act of 1992 has got exceptions where it applies only to buildings constructed before 1978. However, lead can still be found in buildings built past that year. Single rooms rented in residential settlements are also exempted.
2. Sellers Must Present Buyers With an EPA Pamphlet Outlining the Dangers of Lead
The seller should provide you with an EPA prepared pamphlet that outlines the precautions and measures to apply to shield your family from lead at home. The booklet contains knowledge about a variety of topics, such as:
- Health ramifications of lead
- How to recognize lead poisoning
- Identifying lead-based paint in your home
- The dangers of lead-based paint
- And more
You must confirm the acceptance of this leaflet and knowledge of lead-based paint hazards on the disclosure form from the EPA stated above. There are different language variations of the pamphlet on the official website of the EPA. The seller must possess the acknowledgment for a minimum of three years from the date of the sale.
3. A Seller Must Give the Buyer Ten Days to Carry Out a Lead Paint Test
Once you and the buyer or landlord agree, this period of ten days can be waived, shortened, or extended. It is not a requirement for a landlord or seller to conduct a lead test but to inform you about the possibility of its existence. However, it is crucial to conduct a test on your premises for lead paint, especially when you are unsure if lead-based paint is present on the property. Being certain about lead-based paint on the property and the current condition is advantageous for both you and the landlord or seller.
When you are buying, it is advisable to insert a contingency in your purchase offer indicating the requirements that must be fulfilled before concluding the real estate agreement. The contingency allows room for pulling out of the deal if you are not satisfied with the inspection results or fail to agree with the landlord or the seller on how to go about the required renovations.
Lead has been proven to have adverse effects on humans, and it is, therefore, important to ensure you’re buying or moving into a lead paint free property. You can purchase your own do-it-yourself lead paint tests, but it’s possible to receive inaccurate test results. To avoid this, we encourage you to contact a professional to execute the test instead.
We have a team of well-trained and certified professionals that have vast experience in working with lead-based paint. If you wish to learn more about lead-based paint, we encourage you to contact our team today for additional information.