Real Estate Disclosure

Homebuyers and Renters: Know Your Rights Before You Buy or Lease

Many homes and condominiums built before 1978 have lead-based paint. Paint that has chipped or is deteriorating, or on surfaces that rub together such as windows and doors, creates lead dust which can pose serious health hazards to occupants and visitors. Homebuyers and renters have important rights to know about whether lead is present — before signing contracts or leases.

Homebuyers

Federal law requires that before being obligated under a contract to buy housing built prior to 1978, buyers must receive the following from the homeseller:

  • An EPA-approved information pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards titled Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home (PDF).
  • Any known information concerning the presence of lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards in the home or building.
    • For multi-unit buildings, this requirement includes records and reports concerning common areas and other units when such information was obtained as a result of a building-wide evaluation.
  • An attachment to the contract, or language inserted in the contract, that includes a “Lead Warning Statement” and confirms that the seller has complied with all notification requirements.
  • A 10-day period to conduct a paint inspection or risk assessment for lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards. Parties may mutually agree, in writing, to lengthen or shorten the time period for inspection. Homebuyers may waive this inspection opportunity. If you have a concern about possible lead-based paint, then get a lead inspection from a certified inspector before buying.

Renters

Federal law requires that before signing a lease for housing built before 1978, renters must receive the following from your landlord:

  • An EPA-approved information pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards, Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home (PDF).
  • Any known information concerning the presence of lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards in the home or building.
    • For multi-unit buildings, this requirement includes records and reports concerning common areas and other units when such information was obtained as a result of a building-wide evaluation.
  • An attachment to the contract, or language inserted in the contract, that includes a “Lead Warning Statement” and confirms that the seller has complied with all notification requirements.

If you have a concern, then ask your landlord to get a lead hazard inspection from a certified inspector before signing your lease.

Housing Lessors and Sellers: Know Your Responsibilities Before You Sell or Lease

Property Managers and Landlords

As owners, landlords, agents, and managers of rental property, you play an important role in protecting the health of your tenants and their children. Buildings built before 1978 are much more likely to have lead-based paint. Federal law requires you to provide certain important information about lead paint before a prospective renter is obligating under lease to rent from you.

Landlords must give prospective tenants of buildings built before 1978:

  • An EPA-approved information pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards,  Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home (PDF).
  • Any known information concerning lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards pertaining to the building.
    • For multi-unit buildings this requirement includes records and reports concerning common areas and other units when such information was obtained as a result of a building-wide evaluation.
  • A lead disclosure attachment to the lease, or language inserted in the lease, that includes a “Lead Warning Statement” and confirms that you have complied with all notification requirements.

Real Estate Agents and Home Sellers

As real estate agents and home sellers, you play an important role in protecting the health of families purchasing and moving into your home. Buildings built before 1978 are much more likely to have lead-based paint. Federal law requires you to provide certain important information about lead paint before a prospective buyer is obligated under a contract to purchase your home.

Real estate agents must:

  • Inform the seller of his or her obligations under the Real Estate Notification and Disclosure Rule. In addition, the agent is responsible if the seller or lessor fails to comply; unless the failure involves specific lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazard information that the seller or lessor did not disclose to the agent. Read the regulations that includes these requirements.
  • Provide, as part of the contract process, an EPA-approved information pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards titled  Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home (PDF). Attach to contract, or insert language in the contract, a “Lead Warning Statement” and confirmation that you have complied with all notification requirements.
  • Provide a 10-day period to conduct a paint inspection or risk assessment for lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards. Parties may mutually agree, in writing, to lengthen or shorten the time period for inspection. Homebuyers may waive this inspection opportunity.

 

(from the EPA’s website)

 

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