Lead Paint in Apartment Rentals
You may think that, by now, lead paint would not be an issue. The use of lead-based paint was banned in 1978. Buildings and homes built before that time may still have this troubling paint on walls or woodwork. Old apartments are no exception and the hazards are real.
The Issues with Lead Paint
Children are most affected by lead in paint. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are no safe blood lead levels for children. Children’s IQ, the ability to pay attention, and academic success are hampered by even very low levels of lead. These conditions are not reversible. Once a child has been exposed to lead and is affected by it, the damage is permanent.
Federal law requires that landlords let you know if the apartment you wish to rent has lead-based paint. The landlords or owners of the building are not mandated to remove the paint; however, they must let you know about the lead paint before you sign a lease.
In addition to telling you about it, they must also give you a pamphlet with information about lead paint. This pamphlet must contain information about identifying lead-based paint and how to control the hazards it generates. You must also be told about any other units in the building or common spaces that have lead-based paint. If there are areas in the building with lead-based paint hazards, like a basement or laundry room, you must be informed of those spaces as well.
Lead Paint Hazards in Older Buildings
Before 1978, lead paint was widely used in the housing industry. If you are renting a unit in a building that was constructed before 1978, you should ask about the paint in the building. Your specific unit may or may not have lead paint, but there may be areas in the building that still have this paint on open surfaces.
Also, the walls or woodwork could have lead-based paint underneath layers of other types of paint, wallpaper, or other wall coverings. Sometimes this can be a hazard if the layers of paint are removed for repainting or prepping the walls for new wallpaper. Be aware of the possibility of a lead paint problem. If you are moving into an older building and your landlord has not told you about any issues with lead paint, do not assume there is no lead paint in the building. Ask about it.
Failure to disclose lead paint hazards in an apartment building in which you are planning to rent a unit is not acceptable, particularly if you have children. Tison Law Group provides a variety of legal services to Tampa area residents, including personal injury law. Our honesty, integrity, and a commitment to our clients are just some of the reasons you can trust us to defend your rights. Call us if you would like to discuss personal injury issues regarding yourself or a loved one.