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What You Need to Know About Lead-Based Paint Exposure

Chipped Off Lead Paint Laying on the FloorAs a Spring landlord and property owner, it is your obligation to keep your rental property in a safe and habitable condition. For several property owners, this indicates executing regular maintenance and repairs. But take note, if your rental house was built before 1978, there are some things that you may want to integrate into your property maintenance list. To cite an instance, a lot of older homes were built using lead-based paint on interior walls and ceilings. Lead-based paint can be extremely dangerous to your tenants, which is why landlords should be concerned about limiting lead-based paint exposure as much as possible. In subsequent paragraphs, we’ll tackle the various hidden dangers of lead-based paint in a rental home and what property owners can do to support and help their tenants effectively avoid exposure.

The Hidden Dangers of Lead Paint

Lead-based paint was a generally common material used in buildings built before 1978. Using lead paint on the walls is not necessarily dangerous unless the paint is disturbed, chips, or crumbles into dust. As lead paint ages, it becomes toxic to people (especially children) who come into contact with it. The most frequent areas for this to come about would be around windows and window sills, railings, banisters, porches, and doors and door frames. For adults, ingesting lead paint flakes or inhaling the dust can result in a host of health problems, involving headaches, body aches, digestive issues, memory loss, and even kidney damage. Although lead paint is mainly injurious to children, giving rise to learning disabilities, hearing problems, nerve damage, and bone marrow issues. Such health issues can have a disastrous and lifelong impact on those unlucky enough to find themselves exposed to lead-based paint.

Landlord Responsibilities

As a landlord, the health and safety of your tenants should be the topmost priority. The risks of lead paint actually extend beyond that, additionally. Indeed, in a majority of states, if you knowingly rent a property with lead-based paint without disclosing that fact to your tenants, you could be liable for any associated costs of treatment and other damages, such as pain and suffering. Therefore, it’s vital to know for certain whether your rental property has lead-based paint, inside or out, and take any appropriate measures from there.

If you don’t know whether your rental has lead-based paint or not, the first thing you will need to do is have it tested and inspected. Depending on the property’s age and location, it may not be sufficient to rely on disclosures provided to you when you purchased the property. Thereupon, if lead is detected, you may be legally required to notify your tenants and bestow them with information about lead-based paint and the dangers of exposure.

Avoiding Tenant Exposure

Part of the appropriate way to abolish any chance of exposure is to have the lead paint removed entirely. This course of action, even though expensive, is the most permanent long-term solution to the issue. Do not attempt to eradicate lead-based paint yourself; this is a job suitably left to the professionals.

If removal and replacement aren’t an option, you may just be able to encapsulate or enclose your rental’s surfaces to prevent any contact with the lead paint. Encapsulation, usually the more economical option of the two, is a procedure where a special coating is applied over the lead paint, creating a watertight seal. On the flip side, enclosure involves covering the existing surface with a new one, such as putting up new drywall over an existing wall or covering window sills with cladding. Even though both options may be effective momentarily, if the coating ever wears off or the enclosed surface is removed, the risk of exposure will be very high. You may additionally still need to impart disclosures to your tenant regarding the lead paint, depending on the laws in your area.


At Real Property Management Heritage, we perceive that owning rental properties can be associated with some immediate and unexpected challenges. When issues do come about, you need the experience and resources of Spring property management experts to help see you through. Contact us online to glean more important information.

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