The lead paint disclosure has become a normal part of signing leases for tenants— but if you’re a new landlord putting together your lease for the first time, making sense of whether you need the disclosure and how to present it can be intimidating. Lead poisoning is still a serious issue, as any building built before 1978 may still contain lead paint. Read on for our breakdown of the lead paint disclosure and how to use it.
History Of Lead Paint In America
Although lead paint is thought to have been used as early as the 4th century CE, it wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century that health concerns surrounding lead-based paints became common. Lead poisoning was common enough that the use of lead paint in the art world had already started to decline, and it was becoming well known that using lead paint in construction could hurt both workers and consumers.
However, it wasn’t until 1977 that the US Consumer Product Safety Commission finally issued a total ban on lead paint in construction, toys, and furniture. And it would be another 20 years before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) instituted the Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Regulation, requiring owners of buildings built before 1978 to disclose the presence of lead paint to potential buyers or renters.
This means that prior to renting an apartment or home to a new tenant, landlords must report any known lead paint on the property, or risk fines of up to $16,000. They must give an EPA-approved lead paint disclosure form to all tenants, who are required to sign it for the landlord to keep on file until the tenant moves out. This establishes which areas of the property contain lead paint, and confirms that the tenants are aware of them.
How do you know if you have lead paint on your property? You can hire a professional to conduct a lead paint test, or [ LINK: https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-test-for-lead-paint/ ] do it yourself with supplies readily available from a hardware store. Results for lead paint are reported in milligrams per square centimeter; if the test comes back with a reading higher than one milligram per square centimeter, then that area is considered a lead-painted surface. (Typically, multiple readings are taken on each surface and the result is calculated by an average of those readings.)
How To Give Your Tenants A Lead Paint Disclosure
Especially if you’re a new landlord, you may not know where to get the forms and documents to give your tenants if you need to disclose lead paint or other hazards. Most of these can be found on the EPA or HUD websites:
- A list of the required documentation is here: https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/healthy_homes/enforcement/disclosure
- The EPA brochure on the effects of lead paint is here: https://www.epa.gov/lead/protect-your-family-lead-your-home-real-estate-disclosure
- A Colorado-specific lead paint disclosure form can be found here: https://www.codot.gov/business/propertymanagement/assets/documents/hazmat/leaddisclosurerentals.pdf
You can also call 800-424-LEAD to reach an EPA hotline on lead paint that can answer any other questions you may have.
The Colorado Division of Housing will also have information, publications, and other resources for both landlords and tenants. If you need help with disclosures or any other documentation associated with leasing your rental properties, contracting with a property management company can give you the help you need and the peace of mind that goes with it.
How All County Denver South Can Help
Paperwork and documentation are a necessary part of being a landlord— but you don’t have to manage it all by yourself. All County Denver South Property Management is here to help property owners get the best return on their investment through knowledgeable and trustworthy property management services. From managing tenant relationships to lease enforcement, we look forward to working with you to see how your investment can be a long-term, stress-free asset. For a complimentary quote, call us today at (720) 664-4550.