Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Massachusetts Lead Law and Rental Properties

The Massachusetts Lead Inspection Law gives children six years old and younger the right to live in a lead-free home. Homes, rental and private, built before 1978 must be free of lead hazards including lead paint that is loose, uncovered, or present on windows or any other surface accessible to children.

The Law

The homeowner must employ a licensed lead inspector to test the home for lead, cite all lead hazards, and then explain how to bring the home into compliance with the law. Landlords are responsible for removing all lead hazards in a timely fashion.

Interim Control

Any remaining hazards must be addressed by "interim control," during which the homeowner is given up to two years to cover up or remove all existing lead hazards from the home. Upon completion of these actions, the homeowner is sent a Letter of Full Compliance.

Moving into a Rental

Even if the tenant moving into a rental property built before 1978 does not have children, the landlord must provide the Tenant Lead Law Notification and Certification Form, a copy of the most recent lead inspection report, and a copy of the Letter of Compliance or Letter of Interim Control. If hazardous conditions are not corrected in a timely fashion, the landlord can be held legally responsible for injuries caused by the lead paint. A landlord cannot evict a tenant or refuse to rent to a family with a child under the age of six because of lead threats. This is considered discrimination and is not tolerated under the law. 

Complying with the Massachusetts Lead Law is the best way to protect both the landlord and tenant from legal and health repercussions.