Lead Based Paint Disclosures

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A student asked:

The EPA is coming to Fairbanks this week to do a records inspection on Lead Based Paint Disclosures. We have been told different things to expect and wanted to know if you had experience or guidance available for this.

I just wanted to be prepared and discovered at the beginning of the process our lead based paint disclosures didn't match what the epa had on their website so we were worried we had been using the wrong ones. We had the inspection yesterday and discovered it is because the EPA has updated their forms this year and that we needed to update them as well, but that they are just letting Brokerages know about the new disclosures. In case you wanted to include that in your newsletter. The new forms can be found on their website. Our records were good and it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be!

My earlier response:

Lead is a toxic metal that can cause serious health problems, especially for children and pregnant women. Exposure to lead can affect the brain, nervous system, kidneys, and blood. Lead-based paint was widely used in homes built before 1978, when it was banned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Real estate brokers who sell or rent properties built before 1978 have certain legal obligations under the EPA's Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule and the Lead Disclosure Rule. These rules aim to protect potential buyers and tenants from lead hazards and inform them of their rights and responsibilities.

The RRP Rule requires that any renovation, repair, or painting work that disturbs lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes and child-occupied facilities must be performed by certified contractors who follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. The rule also applies to common areas such as hallways, stairs, and lobbies.

The Lead Disclosure Rule requires that sellers and landlords of pre-1978 homes and apartments disclose any known information about the presence of lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards in the property. They must also provide buyers and tenants with a copy of the EPA's pamphlet "Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home" and include a lead disclosure attachment in the sales or rental contract. Buyers have a 10-day period to conduct a lead inspection or risk assessment at their own expense, while tenants must receive the lead disclosure information before signing the lease.

Real estate brokers who fail to comply with the EPA's lead-based paint rules can face significant penalties, including fines of up to $37,500 per violation and possible criminal prosecution. Therefore, it is important for brokers to understand and follow the requirements of the RRP Rule and the Lead Disclosure Rule, and to educate their clients about the potential risks and benefits of buying or renting a pre-1978 property.

In addition to complying with the RRP Rule and the Lead Disclosure Rule, real estate brokers must also keep records of their lead-based paint activities for at least three years. According to the EPA, these records include:

  • Copies of the lead disclosure attachment signed by the sellers, buyers, landlords, and tenants.
  • Copies of the "Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home" pamphlet acknowledgment forms.
  • Documentation of any lead inspections or risk assessments performed on the property, including the reports and certificates.
  • Documentation of any lead abatement or interim control work done on the property, including the work practices, clearance testing, and post-abatement reports.
  • Documentation of any training or certification related to lead-based paint for the brokers and their employees.

Keeping these records can help brokers demonstrate their compliance with the EPA's rules and avoid potential liabilities in case of a dispute or a lawsuit. Brokers should store these records in a secure and accessible location and make them available to the EPA or the state authorities upon request. Brokers should also be aware of any state or local regulations that may have additional or different requirements for lead-based paint record keeping.

Hope this helps,
Jerry Royse ITI

Jerry Royse, at the helm of Royse and Associates, stands out in real estate education with over 35 years of experience teaching across 46 states and 5 countries. A seasoned educator, Jerry has trained thousands in Sales Pre-Licensing and Continuing Education, also applying his expertise as an expert witness in over 30 legal cases and successfully closing over 1100 homes as a Buyer Broker. His extensive knowledge marks him as a preeminent expert in the field.

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