In December 2011 the City of Philadelphia passed legislation amending Chapter 6-800 of the Philadelphia Code, titled “Lead Paint Disclosure,” to require landlords of certain housing units to not only disclose the potential presence of Lead-Based Paint (LBP) but to also provide certification that the housing unit is either lead-free or lead-safe. This requirement will become effective on December 21, 2012.

The regulated housing under this bill includes residential property under lease agreements built before March 1978.

This rule applies to all dwelling units within the above listed parameters, including single family homes, “twins”, and apartments where children 6 and under will reside through rental/lease agreements. Enforcement will be associated with the landlords required “Housing Inspection License” issued through the Department of Licenses and Inspections.

Certification that a dwelling unit is lead-free, which indicates there is no LBP present, must be provided by a Pennsylvania accredited Lead Inspector/Risk Assessor following an inspection using an XRF spectrum analyzer following HUD guidelines.

Certification that a dwelling unit is lead-safe, which indicates LBP is present but is in good condition can be issued by either a Pennsylvania certified lead inspector/risk assessor OR a trained Lead Dust Sampling Technician. This certification can be issued by presuming all surface coatings contain lead beyond the threshold level, visually inspecting the property to confirm all coatings are intact and not deteriorating, AND collecting lead dust wipe samples which pass the threshold levels.

A lead-free certification does not expire.

A lead-safe certification is valid for 2 years. However, the landlord is still obligated to maintain the integrity of the paint/coatings and respond to any reports from the tenant of damaged paint.

Only new leases require certification. Renewal of leases within the same unit does not require certification. Should the tenants be relocating and therefore involves occupancy in a different unit, certification is required.

The landlord must first provide the leasee (tenant) with a copy of the certification and obtain a written acknowledgement that the tenant received the certification. The landlord then must send a copy of the tenant signed certification along with the dust wipe sample results to by any of the following methods:

Via mail: Lead Safe Certification
c/o Department of Public Health
2100 Girard Avenue
PNH Building #3
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Via facsimile: 215-685-2978