Under recent federal laws, buyers of pre-1978 homes must receive a pamphlet which identifies the risks of lead contamination. The pamphlet states that it is assumed that paint in pre-1978 houses is lead based. Buyers are instructed that they have the right to test for lead in the paint, usually at their own expense.
If lead is found, a buyer has the right to cancel the contract. There are two other options as well: (1) the seller may pay for lead paint removal or (2) the buyer may purchase the house "as is."
In addition, landlords are now required to advise tenants of the presence of lead paint once it is detected. If lead is found, a landlord must properly remove the lead containing paint. Landlords must also provide their tenants with information pamphlets concerning lead exposure.
If you are renting a house that is built before 1978, you should:
Answer all notices sent by the landlord.
Tell the landlord when a child under age 6 resides or moves into an apartment.
Let the landlord into the apartment to inspect and make repairs.
If you see peeling paint: (1) Immediately notify the landlord in writing. (2) Have children tested for lead poisoning regularly.