Understanding “The Lead Disclosure Rule”

Written on March 28, 2012 by , updated on July 11, 2014

Congress passed the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 to protect families from exposure to lead from paint, dust, and soil. HUD and EPA require the disclosure of any known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before the sale or lease of most housing built before 1978.


Landlords must complete the following steps to ensure they are in compliance with the Act:

  1. Provide this EPA-approved information pamphlet to the potential tenant before lease signing.
  2. Inform the potential tenant(s) of any known or lead-based paint or hazard on the property.
  3. Add the Lead Disclosure attachment into your lease agreement, and ensure all parties sign/date it.
  4. Keep a record of this signed disclosure for no less than 3 years.

The Rules

Before ratification of a contract for sale or lease of a property, sellers and landlords must:

  • Provide an EPA-approved information pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards to the potential buyers or tenants.  They are currently available for download in EnglishSpanishVietnameseRussianArabic and Somali.
  • Disclose any known information concerning lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards. The seller or landlord must also disclose information such as the location of the lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards, and the condition of the painted surfaces.
  • Provide any records and reports on lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards which are available to the seller or landlord (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).
  • Include an attachment/addendum to the lease (or language inserted in the lease itself) which includes a Lead Warning Statement and confirms that the seller or landlord has complied with all notification requirements. This attachment is to be provided in the same language used in the rest of the contract. Sellers or landlords, and agents, as well as homebuyers or tenants, must sign and date the attachment.
  • Sellers and lessors must retain a copy of the disclosures for no less than three years from the date of sale or the date the leasing period begins.
  • SELLERS ONLY: Sellers must provide homebuyers 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.

Source: http://hud.gov/

photo credit: wayneandwax via cc
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7 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Kim

    Do you have to actually test the house for lead, or just provide the pamphlet (and check “no knowledge of lead”) on the disclosure paper? Thanks

  • courtney groendyke

    Hi. I am currently renting a house that was built in 1956 in Kailua. The landlord has stated they have never had the house tested for lead after we asked. We have a toddler, and there is paint peeling and chipping in many places inside and outside the house. I know it has been painted over several times, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe. If I would like the house tested, do I have to pay, or is the landlord obligated to pay for the testing? And if there is lead detected, what next? Thanks.

  • Kathy

    Is it illegal to rent a home that was made in 1960 without having them sign for an EPA pamphlet?

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