Monday, October 28, 2019

Lead Inspection: The Renter's Guide to Requirements

Before 1978, the majority of the paint used on the interior of homes and apartment buildings was lead-based. Although lead has been banned in the majority of household products for over 40 years, lead paint is still present in old residences. Exposure is especially harmful to children and pregnant women, as it can have serious effects on fetal and child development. As a result, strict Massachusetts lead inspection requirements are in place to protect tenants and help them learn how to keep themselves safe.

Massachusetts Law Regarding Lead in Rental Homes

A light blue wooden door
According to, it’s a renter's right to have information regarding existing or possible lead-based substances on the property provided by the landlord. Even before moving into a rental property built before 1978, renters are entitled to the following:
  • Any information about the potential for lead paint on the property
  • Tenant Lead Law Notification forms (required by law to be signed by both parties)
  • Tenant Certification form with the owner's disclosure of lead-based hazards (required by law to be signed by both parties)
  • A copy of the most recent lead inspection (if available)
  • Copy of compliance (if the property was deleaded)

Next Steps If Lead Hazard Is Suspected

If a renter notices peeling or loose paint chips, he or she should immediately notify the landlord of their concern in writing and ask for a lead inspection. If the landlord does not comply, tenants with children under age six should contact the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP) to arrange a free inspection. Renters who do not qualify for a free inspection may instead hire a professional inspector to determine the presence of lead-based paint. If lead is found, the landlord is required by law to fix it.

Discrimination and Eviction Concerns

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health emphasizes that discrimination based on the presence of lead paint is illegal. If a renter is refused a lease or evicted from an apartment due to lead hazards on the property, particularly if they are pregnant or have young children, the CLPPP should be contacted immediately.

If a rental unit that you own or lease was built before 1978, ensure that lead-based paint isn't present to prevent a safety hazard. ASAP Environmental, Inc. has been providing residents throughout the Boston, MA area with professional lead inspections since 1993. Schedule your inspection today if you suspect that lead may be present in your home.

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