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What You Need to Know About Lead-Based Paint Exposure

Chipped Off Lead Paint Laying on the FloorEnsuring that your rental property is in a safe and habitable state is part of your role as a landlord and property owner in Englewood Cliffs. This would mean doing regular maintenance and repairs for almost all property owners. However, if your rental house was built before 1978, then there are a couple of other things you may need to add to your property maintenance list. For instance, a lot of older homes were created using lead-based paint on the inside walls and ceilings. Lead-based paint can be extremely unsafe for your tenants. This is why landlords are concerned about controlling lead-based paint exposure as much as possible. In the succeeding paragraphs, we will discuss some hidden risks with lead-based paint in the rental home and what property owners can do to prevent tenants from being exposed to it.

The Hidden Dangers of Lead Paint

Usually, buildings constructed before 1978 would make use of lead-based paint. Unless the paint is disturbed, chips, or crumbles into dust, having lead paint on the walls will not necessarily be dangerous. As it ages, lead paint becomes toxic to people (especially children) who are exposed to it. The most common area for this to happen would be around windows and window sills, railings, banisters, porches, doors, and door frames. Ingesting lead paint flakes or inhaling the dust can cause a host of health problems. Some of these include headaches, body aches, digestive issues, memory loss, and even kidney damage. Lead paint is especially harmful to children. It causes learning disabilities, hearing problems, nerve damage, and bone marrow conditions. But for the people who are unfortunate to find themselves exposed to lead-based paint, they can experience some lifelong and damaging health problems.

Landlord Responsibilities

A landlord should consider the health and safety of their tenants as a top priority. The risks of lead paint extend beyond that too. In truth, in most states, if you consciously rent a property with lead-based paint without telling that fact to your tenants, you could be liable for any related expenses of treatment and other damages, such as pain and suffering. For this reason, it is crucial to understand without a doubt whether your rental property has lead-based paint, inside or out, and take the necessary steps from there.

One of the first things you should do, if you don’t know whether your rental has lead-based paint or not, is to have it tested and inspected. Depending on the property’s location and age, it may not be enough to place all your confidence in what was disclosed to you during the time you purchased the property. Then, if lead is seen, you may be legally required to notify your tenants and give them facts about lead-based paint and the dangers of exposure.

Avoiding Tenant Exposure

One of the best ways to eliminate the possibility of risk of exposure is to have the lead paint removed completely. Although expensive, this approach is the most permanent long-term solution to the problem. Professionals are best left with the job of removing lead-based paint, so do not attempt to do this yourself.

If removal and replacement aren’t possible, you could encapsulate or enclose your rental’s surfaces to avoid any contact with the lead paint. Generally, the more affordable option among the two would be encapsulation. This process involves applying a special coating over the lead paint, which creates a watertight seal. Enclosure, just like putting up new drywall over an old one or covering window sills with cladding, involves covering the old surface with a new one. While both choices may temporarily work, if ever the coating does wear off or the enclosed exterior would become detached, the possibility of exposure will be very high. Depending on the laws in your area, you may also still need to provide disclosures to your tenant about the lead paint.


At Real Property Management Concierge, we are aware that owning rental properties can come with a few unforeseen challenges. When these challenges do arise, you need the experience and resources of Englewood Cliffs property management experts to help you in every step. To learn more, contact us online.

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