Landlords are responsible for the well-being of more than just the property itself. The reason for many of your legal responsibilities is to keep your property in livable conditions for the tenants who occupy your space. This means keeping the water running, land safe, and also keeping the tenants informed about crucial disclosures.
Lead-based paint was used for many years, but it is not 100% safe to live with. If there is a chance or confirmation that there is lead-based paint on your property, it is your responsibility to disclose that to the tenant.
The law outlines that you must have a lead-based paint disclosure pamphlet for rental tenants. This lead-based paint booklet will give them the information that they need to know about the risks of lead-based paint. So, what goes in the brochure? Let’s find out together!
A Table of Contents for Lead Paint Pamphlet for Renters
- What is a Lead Paint Brochure for Tenants?
- Why are Lead Paint Pamphlets Required?
- All About the Lead-Based Paint Pamphlet
- Don’t Forget: You Also Need the Disclosure Form!
When you rent your property out to a tenant, you are legally required to give them the EPA-approved lead paint brochure. The brochure is specifically made to cover all the info that any tenant might want to know about the potential dangers of lead in the home, and it covers very detailed information about how to handle that risk.
While you don’t have to create the brochure yourself, it is very important that you have these brochures on hand at all times to give to the appropriate parties, such as new tenants. It is your legal responsibility to do just that.
In homes that were built before 1978, there is a high chance that lead-based paint was used on the walls or other parts of the home when it was being built. Before 1978, the risks of lead-based paint were not known, and this type of paint was the most common type of paint.
Now that the risks of lead-based paint are known, the government has studied how it is dangerous, examined how to prevent those dangers from becoming a bigger problem, and declared what you should do if you suspect there is lead paint in your home.
Unfortunately, not all renters are aware of these risks because they have never owned a home before. For that reason, it is essential and required for landlords to give their tenants information about these risks before they move into a property.
It can be hard for a landlord to know what kind of information they need to put into this type of education pamphlet. Lucky for you, we have a free PDF pamphlet available that you can use to inform your tenants about the potential risks or hazards of lead paint.
This pamphlet has been put together by the EPA and other government agencies to ensure accuracy and consistency. Here is that pamphlet:
|Lead-Based Paint Pamphlet PDF|
Let’s break down what information is included in the pamphlet and why it must be disclosed to tenants before they move into the property.
Who Must Disclose
The first section of this pamphlet outlines who is legally required to disclose the presence or possibility of lead paint. All of these disclosure requirements apply to houses that were built before 1978.
- Landlords: Must disclose known information about lead-based paint at the property. Must give out this pamphlet. Must put a disclosure about lead-based paint in the lease.
- Sellers: Must disclose known information about lead-based paint before selling the property. Sales contracts must contain a disclosure. Buyers have 10 days to check for lead.
- Renovators: Must give homeowner this pamphlet if they will be disturbing more than two square feet of any painted surface while renovating.
Lead-Based Paint Facts
The next section of the pamphlet runs through some of the most common facts about lead-based paint and the dangers that lead in paint, dust, or dirt can have on a tenant or their family.
These facts serve not to scare anyone but to let them know about the potential severity of the injuries that can come from living in a home with excessive levels of lead. The introductory facts also let you know that paint in good condition (i.e., not chipping) is not an immediate danger.
How Lead Paint Gets into the Body & What It Does
This section describes the different ways that lead-based paint and other sources of lead could get into your body. This is important for tenants to understand so that they know what to avoid and look for in the home.
First, the pamphlet introduces the different ways that lead can enter the body. From inhaling dust to eating soil or paint chips that are contaminated with lead, it’s relatively easy to do on accident.
Then, the pamphlet explains what happens when lead gets into the body. The information in the pamphlet covers the effects on both children and adults. While low-level exposure is most common and doesn’t cause as severe damage, high levels of exposure can happen to a seemingly healthy child, so it is important that tenants are aware of the symptoms.
Checking for Lead in Your Home & Family
This section is the most important section for your tenants to know about. It outlines where lead-based paint is found, why it is found in those areas, and how to check the home for lead. Additionally, this section explains how you can also have your family tested for lead toxicity levels.
Managing Lead-Based Paint & Reducing the Hazards
The next sections of the pamphlet cover how anyone living in a property with lead-based paint should wash the property, check for chips regularly, and generally reduce the risk of any lead poisoning from happening.
Remodeling and renovating are also covered in the final sections. When doing any renovations, you could be stirring up the lead that would then be a danger. It is always important to test for and remove dangerous lead while doing these projects, so your contractors should be checking for this.
Finally, the pamphlet closes out with contacts that you and the tenant can use if there are concerns about the safety of the property. These contacts can be used to get more information and also to alert the proper authorities about any lead problems.
In addition to giving out a lead-based paint pamphlet, you are also legally required to include a disclosure in the lease itself.
By signing this disclosure, you and the tenant acknowledge that lead-based paint has been discussed and that the tenant is aware of the current state of lead-based paint at the property.
Remember: You must give both the lead paint pamphlet and disclosure form to all tenants!
Lead-Based Paint is a Real Risk
It can seem tiresome and repetitive to landlords to have to continually give out the same brochure to every tenant that moves into one of your properties. While the news might be old to you, not all renters will be aware of the risk of lead paint.
As the property that might cause those hazards is owned by you, it is your responsibility to lower the risk of anything dangerous happening to the tenant by disclosing this risk. Think of yourself as the tenant’s guardian angel in this respect; they deserve to know!
Beyond the general moral code of letting tenants know about this risk, it is also your legal requirement to do so. Skipping out on giving out this pamphlet can be a huge problem should a lead-based illness occur later on, so be sure to follow the letter of the law on this one.