Buying, Renting or Renovating a Home Built Before 1978
Many houses and apartments built before 1978 have paint that contains lead (called lead-based paint). Lead from paint, chips, and dust can pose serious health hazards if not taken care of property. Federal law requires that individuals receive certain information before renting, buying, or renovating pre-1978 housing:
Landlords have to disclose known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before leases take effect. Leases must include a disclosure form about lead-based paint.
Sellers have to disclose known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before selling a house. Sales contracts must include a disclosure form about lead-based paint. Buyers have up to 10 days to check for lead hazards.
Renovators have to give you a lead paint information pamphlet before starting work after June 1, 1999.
Where Lead Is Likely To Be a Hazard
Lead-based paint that is in good condition is usually not a hazard. Peeling, chipping, chalking, or cracking lead-based paint is a hazard and needs immediate attention. Lead dust can form when lead-based paint is dry scraped, dry sanded, or heated. Dust also forms when painted surfaces bump or rub together. Lead chips and dust can get on surfaces and objects that people touch. Settled lead dust can re-enter the air when people vacuum, sweep, or walk through it. Lead-based paint may also be a hazard when found on surfaces that children can chew or that get a lot of wear-and-tear. These include:
Windows and windowsills.
Doors and door frames.
Stairs, railings, and banisters.
Porches and fences.
Lead in soil can be a hazard when children play in bare soil or when people bring soil into the house on their shoes. Call your state agency at 800-424-LEAD, to find out about testing soil for lead.