Free Lead Based Paint Disclosure Form  Template

The lead-based paint disclosure form is a required form to be issued to all tenants and potential buyers for residential properties built before 1978. The paint specifically was outlawed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission at that time (16 CFR 1303) due to the hazard it poses when it chips. The forms were written to warn any new owners or tenants of the potential existence of this within the interior walls of the residence. Therefore, if an individual resides in an older home and witnesses chipping or cracking of paint, they should immediately notify the recommended local authorities.

About Lead-Based Paint

Because people didn’t know it was toxic for centuries, lead was added to many products, including paint. Lead enabled the paint to dry faster, resist moisture and wear better.

However, as medical scientists learned about the toxicity of lead paint to humans, the United States banned its use in paint in 1977 for residential properties and public buildings. It was also banned for toys and furniture.

Lead is highly toxic when ingested and can cause health problems, especially for children and the elderly. Lead poisoning can cause seizures, nausea, headaches, fatigue and irritability.

In developing children, lead can damage kidneys and the brain and lead to behavior problems and learning disabilities. People are exposed to lead-based paint by touching lead paint and then their mouth or eating paint chips and flakes. Many homes built before 1978 still have lead-based paint inside.

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

Landlord Responsibilities

Known as Title X (ten), a law enacted in 1992 requires landlords to disclose any known lead-based paint hazards within the property to prospective tenants.

Formally known as the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, this law is designed to protect the public from health problems caused by lead paint.

Many landlords don’t understand the specific responsibilities they have in informing prospective tenants about the presence of lead-based paint. According to the law, you must follow a specific process outlined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before renting out any properties that were built before 1978.

Here are the steps you must take to inform prospective tenants about the presence or possibility of lead-based paint in the rental:

  1. Provide prospective tenants with an EPA-approved brochure that gives information on identifying and living with lead-based paint. Get it here.
  2. Disclose any information on the rental property and the presence of lead-based paint, including where the paint is located on the property.
  3. Share any reports or records of lead-based paint tests on the rental property.
  4.  Provide an EPA-approved lead paint disclosure form as part of the lease that includes a checklist and a space for both parties to sign and date.
  5. Keep the disclosure form for three years from the day the tenant signs the lease agreement for the rental property.

Failure to follow these steps can mean significant legal trouble for you, such as penalties and fines for each violation. If the tenant suffers from health issues because of lead-based paint, they can sue for damages that result from your failure to disclose. Many courts have already determined that landlords must pay for several times the amount of damages the tenant has experienced.

Tenant Rights

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.

Rental Property Renovation Disclosures

If you are planning on doing any renovations to a property built before 1978, you must also disclose the presence or possibility of lead-based paint. At least 60 days before the renovation will take place, you must provide your current tenants with lead hazard information. You must give the current tenants a copy of the EPA brochure on lead paint hazards.

The lead-based paint disclosure is a federal law that landlords in all states must comply with. The consequences for failing to disclose lead-based paint are severe, not only for the landlord but for the tenants and their families who may be exposed to this toxic substance.

Do you have any rental properties that were built before 1978? How did you learn about the lead paint disclosure laws? Please share this article and let us know about your experiences in the comments section.

These resources are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Landlords and Tenants are encouraged to seek specific legal advice for any of the issues as found in this blog.

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