This article is a USA-centric treatment of legislation addressing hazards of lead based paints in buildings.
Federal Residential Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Rule
In 1992 the U.S.Congress included in the Housing and Community Development Act a law that is commonly referred to as Title X (“Ten”). Its proper name is the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (RLBPHRA). Among other actions, once signed into law by President George H. W. Bush, Title X established that tenants and purchasers of most housing built before 1978 have the right to know that the paint in or on the outside of the housing may have lead in it, that the lead presents hazards to living things, especially children, and that there are ways to prevent injury.
Section 1018 of Title X requires that anyone conducting leases or sales of such housing must ensure that lessees and purchasers receive information pertaining to this right to know. Although many states have similar laws and require lead disclosure forms to be included in real estate transactions, it is crucial to know how the federal law works. This is for two basic reasons. One, the federal rules go beyond the state requirements in some respects, and two, federal enforcement policies generally provide for much higher penalties than do most states.
Pre-Renovation Education Rule
This new rule was also established by RLBPHRA, but was only recently promulgated. It applies to anyone disturbing more than two square feet of lead-based paint in nonexempt pre-1978 housing, who is performing renovation or demolition for compensation. “Renovation” is defined broadly. “For compensation” includes rental or other property management agreements by which compensation is provided for improvements, or maintenance involving such renovation. It therefore pertains not just to contractors performing the renovation, but to whomever is receiving such compensation, such as landlords and property managers.
On these parties is placed the responsibility for ensuring that occupants of properties undergoing renovation or demolition receive information relating to their right to know about the possible presence of lead, its hazards, and ways to protect oneself.
Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act: Full Text