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Lead Hazard Disclosure in Real Estate Transactions

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Lead Hazard Disclosure in Real Estate Transactions. Goals of this Presentation. Background information on childhood lead poisoning. Overview of the federal lead hazard disclosure law. How to maintain lead-safe housing. Goal #1. Background on Childhood Lead Poisoning.

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Presentation Transcript
goals of this presentation
Goals of this Presentation
  • Background information on childhood lead poisoning.
  • Overview of the federal lead hazard disclosure law.
  • How to maintain lead-safe housing.
goal 1
Goal #1

Background on Childhood Lead Poisoning

effects of lead exposure
Effects of Lead Exposure

High Levels:

  • Coma
  • Convulsions
  • Death
  • High levels rare in the United States
effects of poisoning cont d
Effects of Poisoning (cont’d)

Low/Moderate Levels:

  • Reduced IQ
  • Reading and Learning Disabilities
  • Behavior Problems
  • Impaired Growth
  • Hearing Loss
children are particularly vulnerable
Children Are Particularly Vulnerable
  • Rapidly developing nervous systems
  • Hand-to-mouth behavior
  • High absorption rate
sources of lead exposure
Sources Of Lead Exposure
  • Lead-Based Paint
  • Gasoline
  • Plumbing Pipes, Fixtures, Solders
  • Industrial Point Sources
  • Ceramics and Crystal
  • Hobbies & Occupations
  • Home Remedies & Cosmetics

“Lead-based paint and paint contaminated dust account for most cases of childhood lead poisoning today.”

Source: CDC, Strategic Plan for the Elimination of Childhood Lead Poisoning, 1991.

major exposure pathways
Major Exposure Pathways
  • Lead-based paint deteriorates or is disturbed by renovation or repainting
  • Lead-contaminated bare residential soil
  • Lead dust or paint chips ingested or inhaled - especially by young children through hand-to-mouth behavior
  • Ingestion of settled dust is the most common way children are poisoned
lead based paint hazards
Lead-Based Paint Hazards

Lead-based paint is a hazard when it:

  • Deteriorates from age or weather;
  • Wears off friction surfaces, such as binding doors and windows;
  • Deteriorates due to moisture (e.g., leaking pipes or roofs)
  • Is disturbed using unsafe work practices
prevention is the answer
Prevention Is the Answer
  • Lead poisoning is entirely preventable.
  • No medical cure.
  • Prevention requires making housing lead-safe before a child is poisoned.
goal 2
Goal #2:

Overview of the Federal Lead Hazard Disclosure Law

legal basis
Legal Basis
  • Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, 42 U.S.C. 4852d
  • Implemented by HUD and EPA Regulations at 24 CFR Part 35 and 40 CFR Part 745
disclosure does not
Disclosure Does Not…
  • Require testing for lead-based paint
  • Require owners to control lead-based paint hazards
  • Relieve property owners of liability
  • Relieve owners of the legal duty to provide a safe and sanitary dwelling
target housing

Target Housing

All Pre-78 Residential Properties (Including Oral Leases)

Except . . . .

  • Zero-Bedroom Dwellings
  • Housing for the Elderly or Disabled (Unless Occupied by Children Under 6)
  • Property certified “Lead-Based Paint Free”
  • Property Leased for 100 Days or Less
  • Renewal of Leases Where Disclosure Has Already Occurred and No New Information is Available
transactions that trigger disclosure
Transactions that Trigger Disclosure

All real estate transactions involving most pre-1978 housing at the time consumers:

  • Rent a home
  • Renew an existing lease
  • Sublet a home
  • Buy a home
timing of disclosure
Timing of Disclosure
  • Not Required for All Prospective Purchasers/Lessees
  • Complete Before Purchaser or Lessee Is Obligated Under Contract
disclosure requirements
Disclosure Requirements

(1) Provide Lead Hazard Information Pamphlet to the Tenant

(2) Disclose Known Hazards and Provide Copy of Existing Reports

  • Complete and Retain Acknowledgment Statement for 3 Years
  • Owners also must inform agents of known LBP or hazards and the existence of any reports.
1 provide lead hazard information pamphlet
(1) Provide Lead Hazard Information Pamphlet
  • “Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home”


  • Equivalent Pamphlet Approved by EPA for Use in State
2 disclose known hazards and provide copy of existing reports
(2) Disclose Known Hazards and Provide Copy of Existing Reports
  • “Actual Knowledge” -- Prior Test Results or Other First-Hand Information, Even If Written Reports are Not Available
  • Any Records, Test Reports, or Other Information in your Possession or “Reasonably Obtainable”
disclosure in multi family properties
Disclosure in Multi-Family Properties
  • Any Unit-Specific Information
  • Any Records on Common Areas (Hallways, etc.)
  • Records on Other Units Done as Part of Evaluation of Entire Property
3 complete and retain certification and acknowledgment
(3) Complete and Retain Certification and Acknowledgment
  • No Required Federal Form, but Form Must Contain Required Elements
  • Must Be in Same Language as Contract
  • Retain Copy for 3 Years from Closing or Start of Lease
required elements of certification and acknowledgment
Required Elements of Certification and Acknowledgment
  • “Lead Warning Statement” Exactly as Required

(Different Versions for Sales and Leases)

  • Acknowledgment by Seller/Lessor
  • Acknowledgment by Purchaser/Lessee
  • Acknowledgment by Agent
  • Certification by All Parties of Accuracy
what if i don t disclose
What If I Don’t Disclose?

EPA/HUD Enforcement Actions:

  • Civil penalties (fines)
  • Administrative orders
  • Injunctions
  • Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs)
  • Child Health Improvement Projects (CHIPs)
  • Criminal Actions
what if i don t disclose cont d
What If I Don’t Disclose? (cont’d)

Private Actions:

  • Damages (including three times actual damages for willful violations)
  • Attorney’s fees, expert witness fees, and court costs
  • Injunctions
goal 3
Goal #3:

Maintaining Lead-Safe Housing

preventive maintenance
Preventive Maintenance
  • Annual visual inspections
  • Train staff in lead safe work practices
  • Promptly and safely repair peeling paint and underlying causes
  • Make floors smooth and cleanable
  • Advance lead safety at unit turnover
  • Request that tenants report chipping and peeling paint.
lead safe work practices lswp
Lead Safe Work Practices (LSWP)
  • Isolate the work area.
  • Shield surfaces from dust.
  • Protect occupants.
  • Mist painted surfaces before scraping and sanding.
  • Do not use tools that create dust and paint chips.
  • Beware of toxic hazards when removing old paint.
  • Clean up the area after the job.
  • Protect Workers.
lswp resources
LSWP Resources

HUD and EPA Training Courses

  • One day “basic training” available
  • Free training courses in many cities

Free Federal Field Guide

  • Lead Paint Safety Field Guide for Painting, Home Maintenance, and Renovation Work (
unsafe work practices
Unsafe Work Practices
  • Open Flame Burning or Torching
  • Dry Sanding or Scraping
  • Abrasive Blasting
  • Power Washing
clearance testing
Clearance Testing

A lead dust test is the only way to be sure lead hazards are not left behind:

  • Hire a certified lead inspector, risk assessor, or sampling technician
for more information
For More Information
  • Document Requests, Information on Disclosure, and General Lead Information

Phone: 1-800-424-LEAD


  • Contractor Referral

Phone: 1-888-LEADLIST