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Be Aware of Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Requirements

Updated: Jan 29, 2022

In a real estate transaction, there are several types of disclosures, riders and addenda which must be included in addition to the purchase and sales contract. One of them is the lead-based paint disclosure addendum. This article discusses what the lead-based paint disclosure addendum is for, when it is needed and who should provide it.

Lead is a mineral element which has many beneficial uses. However, if humans, animals, or plants are exposed to excessive amounts of lead that is present in the air, soil, water or homes, it can be toxic and cause health problems. Homes and condominiums built before 1978 may contain lead-based paint.

In 1992, Congress passed the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act to address this issue by requiring disclosure of the potential presence of lead-based paint in homes. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) adopted regulations and guidelines for disclosure of any known lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards (LBP). Most private housing, public housing, federally owned housing, and housing receiving Federal assistance that was built before 1978 are covered by this regulation.

The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Act of 1992 requires that sellers and landlords disclose any known lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards and provide the buyers and renters the information pamphlet developed by EPA, HUD and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), titled Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home.

According to this statute, sellers must provide buyers a 10-day period to conduct a lead-based paint inspection or risk assessment at the buyers’ expense. The sales contracts and lease agreements must include certain notifications and disclosure language about the actual or potential presence of lead-based paint, which are included in the Lead-Based Paint Addendum. Sellers, landlords, and real estate agents are responsible for complying with the act.

Florida Realtors provide the rider and addendum with the lead-based paint disclosure as a part of the purchase and sale contract. The addendum states that: “Every purchaser of any interest in residential real property on which a residential dwelling was built prior to 1978 is notified that such property may present exposure to lead from lead-based paint that may place young children at risk of developing lead poisoning.” The addendum requires that sellers disclose any known lead-based paint hazards as well as any available records regarding same. The buyers acknowledge receipt of the seller’s information and a copy of the lead-based paint hazard pamphlet. The buyers also acknowledge that they can conduct an inspection for lead-based paint or waive their inspection right. The sellers, buyers and agents are required to sign the addendum to certify compliance with their obligations under the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Act.

When a house built before 1978 is being listed for sale, the seller or listing agent should provide The Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Addendum as a listing attachment. When the buyer makes an offer, the buyer and agent should be sure to enclose and sign the addendum as part of their purchase contract. The buyer and their agent also need to confirm their 10-day inspection period or waive their inspection rights. If the seller and listing agent have not provided the Lead-Based Paint Addendum as a listing attachment, the buyer and agent can provide the addendum without signature and remind the seller and listing agent to complete and sign the Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Addendum when they sign the contract.

The Lead-Based Paint Addendum is a required document for the sale and leasing of the housing built prior to 1978. It is the responsibility of the buyers, sellers and agents to know and comply with the requirements of the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Act. EPA and HUD provide more information about lead-based paint disclosures and regulations. It helps buyers, sellers, and agents to be fully aware of lead-based paint hazards and health effects.

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