Since 1992 HUD has been requiring full disclosure of lead based hazards in multifamily units before they are sold or leased. We refer to this as HUD’s Lead Disclosure Rule. This should not be confused with U.S. EPA’s new Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule known as the RRP Rule, that went into effect in June 2010 which requires contractors who disturb more than 6 sq. ft. of interior painted surface and 20 sq. ft. of exterior painted surface during a renovation or repair project on any pre-1978 residential housing MUST become Certified Lead Renovation Contractors and perform Lead Safe Work Practices and must inform the building owner and building occupants of any lead hazards before beginning work.
Is this an intrusion into our personal space or a justified requirement to protect the public? The primary force driving these and most other lead exposure rules is the health and safety of children. Children are impacted by lead differently than adults. Even very low exposures can have a lasting impact on a small child. With that in mind, isn’t it appropriate for the government to force businesses, property owners and parents to recognize and control lead hazards in locations that are used by children?
Specifically, the HUD requirements are to provide buyers or lessees with an informational pamphlet and also with the known locations of lead based paint. In addition, this information must be provided until it is confirmed through analytical testing that all of the surfaces in the home are free of lead-based paint. In addition, the seller must allow a 10-day period for the buyer or lessee to conduct their own lead-based paint and/or lead hazard assessment. During this period, the contract can be voided due to new lead information that is discovered.
The EPA Rule requirements are a bit different. These rules are directed more towards the contractor than the homeowner. The RRP rule requires each contractor to have “Certified Renovators” who can test the intended work area, inform the homeowner of the potential hazards, direct lead safe practices, determine whether appropriate cleaning has been done, and also to train all of the workers on lead hazards and practices. All of these skills are provided to the supervisor in a one-day class provided by approved training companies.
As a property owner, landlord, or a property management company it is important that you are aware of these rules so that you can insure the actions you take will not lead you to a fine. Since the RRP is directed towards the contractor, the fine will be theirs; however it will significantly impact your costs, timing, and if violations are discovered, could significantly delay your project. However, if you are a property management company who currently manages or owns pre-1978 housing and you or your employee performs repairs and renovations that exceed the limits of the RRP Rule the fines associated with this type of violation is currently $37,500 per violation.
For more information about these, or any current environmental rules, contact Global Green Property Solutions at 860.430.9935 or email info@GoingGlobalGreen.com