I’m helping my clients in the purchase of a new home and we’ve run into some issues with lead paint testing and we’ve come up with some questions that we’ve had to consult the experts on.
My clients became alarmed in reading through the lead paint information that is required reading before signing the disclosure form for buying their home. Rightly so, lead paint is exceptionally dangerous and can cause brain damage in children. Anyone reading this would be scared to death.
After much discussion and research and consultation with friends, they decided to buy one of the Do-It-Yourself lead testing kits. That caused me to wonder what the implications were if lead paint was found in the home.
DIY Lead Paint Questions:
- If the test comes back as positive, is anyone required to notify any government agency?
- If I know of the results of that test, am I, as a realtor required to notify anyone? I know there is a database, and you can look up the address for any reports at that address. I cannot find any reference to reporting requirements for DIY kits online.
- Should I report this to the county, state, or federal government?
- Is reporting only required of licensed inspectors?
- Also, if my clients decide not to buy the house, is the seller’s agent or the owner required to inform all buyers?
When you have a licensed lead paint inspection and you find it, what does the law state that I must do and how fast must I do it?
If you have a child under the age of six, you must have the house deleaded or brought under interim control within 90 days. Interim control is a temporary fix for lead paint hazards. It is not a complete deleading and it only deals with the most serious lead paint issues. These issues are:
- Loose, chipping or peeling paint
- Windows where the lead paint is shedding dust or chips
- Dust in the house that contains lead
- Window wells that are not smooth or easy to clean
- Structural defects like a leaky roof or pipes that are making lead paint peel
After a few emails with my manager and one of our experts in real estate law we came with some answers.
DIY Lead Paint Test Answers (reporting requirements)
- The only reporting requirements are for tests that are carried out by licensed lead paint inspectors.
- As a realtor representing my buyers, I am under no obligation to share the results of the DIY test with anyone since I am not responsible for the listing or selling of the property at hand.
- If my clients decide not to buy this house, it is the responsibility of the listing agent to disclose that a DIY lead paint test did come back positive.
Lead Paint Resources
Here are some articles that we found helpful in our search for answers.
- Interim Contol Measures article from the state of Massachusetts
- Excellent article on Lead Paint from Max Real Estate
- Lead Paint Encapsulation Product
- Excellent article about lead paint testing from Greater Boston Home Inspections
- Lead Paint in the home brochures from the EPA
- Credits and loans from the state of Massachusetts for deleading your home
Ecobond Paint responded to our article on Twitter and had some recommendations based on their own products that are made in America.