A lead-based paint disclosure form is a federally required document in the leasing process for homes built prior to 1978. It is required to provide to prospective tenants regardless of any evidence of the presence of lead-based paint.
In addition to the disclosure form, an informational pamphlet about the dangers of lead-based paint must also be provided to tenants.
Lead-based paints were explicitly banned by United States Consumer Product Safety Commission in (16 CFR 1303) due to lead hazards. In 1992, Congress passed the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Act (commonly known as Title X) to further protect families from exposure to lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards from dust, and soil. Section 1018 of this Act prompted the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set forth requirements regarding lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards in housing built before 1978.
The requirements produced by HUD and the EPA apply uniquely to the disclosure of lead-based paint for the “transfer of residential property,” before the sale or lease of most housing built before 1978. The requirements were developed to warn new owners or tenants of the potential existence of a lead hazard within the residence, specifically its interior. All landlords that desire to lease a residential property built before 1978 are required by federal law to complete the following steps:
- Provide a lead-based paint pamphlet. Present tenants with a copy of the EPA’s “Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home” pamphlet when signing a new property lease.
- Disclose the presence of any known lead-based paint. Reveal the presence and area of any known lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards in the property’s interior.
- Provide records of lead-based paint reports. Provide tenants with any known records or reports that link the property with lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards.
- Attach the lead-based paint disclosure to lease. Provide tenants with a Lead Paint Disclosure Statement. This statement must:
- be attached to the lease
- warn tenants of the dangers of lead-based paint
- disclose known lead paint hazards on the property
- be signed and dated by both landlord and tenant
- Retain your signed records for three years. Landlords must keep copies of the tenant signed records for at least three years.
Tip: Landlords are not required to provide these disclosures each time a tenant renews their lease. As long as the lead paint notification was provided upon the initial lease signing (and the information is up-to-date) the landlord is not required to provide further documentation when a tenant renews their lease.
Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Act Exemptions
The following conditions are exempt from the lead paint disclosure rule:
- Housing constructed after January 1, 1978
- Units such as studios or lofts that do not contain a bedroom
- Rental agreements with a term of 100 days or fewer
- Housing that has been deemed lead free by a state-certified lead inspector
- Elderly housing (62 or older) where no child under six years old resides
- Disabled housing where no child under six years old resides
Sample of Lead Paint Warning
From the lead-based paint disclosure form listed at the top of this webpage:
“Housing built before 1978 may contain lead-based paint. Lead from paint, paint chips, and dust can pose health hazards if not managed properly. Lead exposure is especially harmful to young children and pregnant women. Before renting pre-1978 housing, lessors must disclose the presence of known lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards in the dwelling. Lessees must also receive a federally approved pamphlet on lead poisoning prevention.”
Landlord noncompliance can result in a fine of up to $10,000 per violation in addition to tenant’s damages if brought before a court.
Checking Your Home for Lead
Landlords wanting to lease a residential property built before 1978 should have their property inspected by an EPA inspection, risk assessment, and abatement firm. You can get your residential property tested in several ways:
- A lead-based paint inspection will tell you if your home has lead-based paint and where it’s located. A certified lead-based paint inspector will inspect the paint on your property using any of the following methods:
- Portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) machine
- Get lab tests of paint samples
- A risk assessment will tell you if your home has any lead hazards from lead in paint, dust, or soil. The assessment will also provide you with actions that you can take to address these hazards. A certified risk assessor, will:
- Sample deteriorated paint from windows, doors, walls, floors, and stairs
- Sample dust near painted surfaces
- Sample bare soil in the yard
- Get lab tests of paint, dust, and soil samples
- Or, have the inspection and risk assessment to find out if there are any lead-based paints or lead hazards in your home.
To find a certified inspector near you visit epa.gov/lead, or call 1-800-424-LEAD
(5323). On the EPA’s website, you can search for an inspector or assessor by:
- Firm name
- Discipline (inspection/risk assessment and abatement)
- Zip Code
- Certification Number
EPA’s locator identifies certified firms in jurisdictions where they administer lead-based paint training and certification. Some states, tribes, and cities have their own rules related to lead-based paint. Check with your local agency to see which laws apply to you. Most agencies can also provide information on possible sources of financial aid for reducing lead hazards.
Did you know that many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint? If you are planning to rent a property that was built before 1978, the landlord is required to inform you of any known lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards on the property. Renters must receive the following from their landlord:
- An EPA-approved information pamphlet on lead-based paint hazards, Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home (PDF).
- Any known presence of lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards in the home or building. For multi-unit buildings, this includes records and reports concerning common areas and other units.
- An attachment to or language inserted in the contract that includes a “Lead Warning Statement” and verifies that the landlord has complied with all notification requirements.
Tenants can ask the landlord to get a certified lead-based paint inspection or lead hazard risk assessment before signing a lease.
Tip: “Lead-based paint” is currently defined by the federal government as paint with lead levels greater than or equal to 1.0 milligram per square centimeter (mg/cm), or more than 0.5% by weight.
Contact the National Lead Information Center to learn how to protect children from lead poisoning and get information about lead hazards at epa.gov/lead and hud.gov/lead, or call 1-800-424-LEAD (5323).