The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are two government programs that work together to ensure that the public receives the information necessary to prevent lead poisoning in homes that may contain lead-based paint hazards. If you own or rent a place that was constructed before the year of 1978, there is the possibility of lead-based paint in that house. Approximately three-quarters of the nation's housing stock built before 1978 (approximately 64 million dwellings) contains some lead-based paint. When properly maintained and managed, this paint poses little risk. However, 1.7 Million children have blood-lead levels above safe limits, mostly due to exposure to lead-based paint hazards. The effects of lead poisoning can cause permanent damage to the brain and many other organs and causes reduced intelligence and behavioral problems. Lead can also cause abnormal fetal development in pregnant women.
Congress passed the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act in 1992. This law directed HUD and EPA to require the disclosure of known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before the sale or lease of most housing built before 1978.
What is Required
Sellers and landlords must disclose known lead-based paint and lead-based hazards and provide available reports to buyers or renters. Sellers and landlords must give buyers and renters the pamphlet, developed by EPA, HUD, and the consumer product safety commission (CPSC), titled Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home. Home buyers will get a 10 day period to conduct a lead-based paint inspection or risk assessment at their own expense. The rule give the two parties flexibility to negotiate key terms of the evaluation. Sales contracts and leasing agreements must include certain notification and disclosure language. Sellers, lessor, and real estate, agents share responsibility for ensuring compliance.