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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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Lead Hazard Disclosure in Real Estate Transactions


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    Presentation Transcript
    1. Lead Hazard Disclosure in Real Estate Transactions

    2. Goals of this Presentation • Background information on childhood lead poisoning. • Overview of the federal lead hazard disclosure law. • How to maintain lead-safe housing.

    3. Goal #1 Background on Childhood Lead Poisoning

    4. Effects of Lead Exposure High Levels: • Coma • Convulsions • Death • High levels rare in the United States

    5. Effects of Poisoning (cont’d) Low/Moderate Levels: • Reduced IQ • Reading and Learning Disabilities • Behavior Problems • Impaired Growth • Hearing Loss

    6. Children Are Particularly Vulnerable • Rapidly developing nervous systems • Hand-to-mouth behavior • High absorption rate

    7. Sources Of Lead Exposure • Lead-Based Paint • Gasoline • Plumbing Pipes, Fixtures, Solders • Industrial Point Sources • Ceramics and Crystal • Hobbies & Occupations • Home Remedies & Cosmetics

    8. “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.

    9. 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

    10. 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

    11. Prevention Is the Answer • Lead poisoning is entirely preventable. • No medical cure. • Prevention requires making housing lead-safe before a child is poisoned.

    12. Goal #2: Overview of the Federal Lead Hazard Disclosure Law

    13. 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

    14. 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

    15. Target Housing All Pre-78 Residential Properties (Including Oral Leases) Except . . . .

    16. Exemptions • 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

    17. 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

    18. Timing of Disclosure • Not Required for All Prospective Purchasers/Lessees • Complete Before Purchaser or Lessee Is Obligated Under Contract

    19. 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.

    20. (1) Provide Lead Hazard Information Pamphlet • “Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home” or • Equivalent Pamphlet Approved by EPA for Use in State

    21. (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”

    22. 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

    23. (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

    24. 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

    25. 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

    26. 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

    27. Goal #3: Maintaining Lead-Safe Housing

    28. 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.

    29. 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.

    30. 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 (www.epa.gov/opptintr/lead/leadsafetybk.pdf)

    31. Unsafe Work Practices • Open Flame Burning or Torching • Dry Sanding or Scraping • Abrasive Blasting • Power Washing

    32. 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

    33. For More Information • Document Requests, Information on Disclosure, and General Lead Information Phone: 1-800-424-LEAD Web: www.epa.gov/lead/nlic.htm • Contractor Referral Phone: 1-888-LEADLIST Web: www.leadlisting.org