|Most properties built before 1978 contain
some lead-based paint. Properties built before 1950 are more likely to contain
Properties that are well maintained with no chipping or peeling paint
are usually not a problem. But dust and chips from peeling lead-based
paint can poison your child. Repainting and renovation projects that spread
lead dust can also create severe lead hazards.
Every child deserves a lead-safe home. If you rent your home or apartment,
you need to know your rights.
- It is your landlord’s duty to maintain the property
and keep the paint intact. Almost all state and local housing
codes define peeling paint as a violation that must be fixed.
- Your landlord should make periodic visual checks to ensure
the property is maintained in good condition. You should
also report any peeling paint or water damage to your landlord.
- If your landlord does not fix the problem promptly and
safely, report it to your local health or housing department.
- Be alert to the danger of painters and other workers
contaminating your home or belongings with lead dust.
- A lead dust
test is the only way to be sure that lead hazards are not
left behind. Tenants have the right to take dust tests themselves, which
an environmental laboratory can analyze at low cost.
- Federal law requires owners and managers of properties
built before 1978 to give tenants an EPA-approved brochure
about lead safety and to disclose known information about
lead-based paint and lead hazards. You should get this information
when you first move in, when you sign a new lease, and whenever
your rent is increased.
- Know your legal rights. It is illegal for landlords to discriminate
against families with children, sneak in waivers of liability, or threaten
"retaliatory eviction." If you have any questions, seek legal
advice from an attorney or tenant advocate.
Have your child tested
if you if you live in an older home or apartment or if you have any reason
to worry about lead poisoning. Young children served by Medicaid are entitled
to free lead tests.