By Stephen J. Ryan, Esq., MAR General Counsel
REALTORS® should be aware of new regulations in place affecting the Federal laws regarding lead paint.
Q. What are the new federal regulations regarding lead paint in homes built before 1978 which are being renovated? How do these rules impact REALTORS®?
A. The EPA’s new rules regarding renovation, repair, and painting work on homes built before 1978 require renovators and painting contractors to get specialized training. The impact on REALTORS® is minimal, but knowledge of the rules is important. The following is an excellent summary provided by the National Association of REALTORS® regarding these regulations.
New Regulations for Renovation, Repair, and Painting Activities
Under the Residential Leadbased Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, Congress required EPA to develop regulations to address renovation, repair, and painting (RRP) activities in single and multi-family houses built before 1978. The purpose of the new rule is to reduce children’s exposure to dust containing lead paint, which is created during the course of these activities. This rule was promulgated in 2009, and went into effect on April 22, 2010.
These rules require contractors and renovators to get trained and certifi ed in EPA’s new lead-based paint work practices. The rules apply only to licensed contractors; do-it-yourselfers will still be able to do RRP work on their own without being trained or certified and without getting fined.
Impact on REALTORS®
Compliance responsibilities for REALTORS® under this new rule are minimal. However, property managers and REALTORS® with any property management activity may face some additional compliance activities.
In terms of disclosure, there are no new disclosure compliance responsibilities, no new forms or revisions to existing forms. However, remember that if any testing is done associated with any Renovation, Repair, and Painting activities, the results of that testing must be disclosed.
We are advising REALTORS® that they should only recommend trained and certified contractors to clients.
REALTORS® who do the RRP work themselves for properties that they manage need to be trained and certifi ed in the new lead-paint safe work practices. If they hire outside contractors to conduct this RRP work for them, these contractors must be trained and certified.
For property managers: inhouse workers who perform RRP activities must be trained and certifi ed in the new work practices. If they hire outside contractors to conduct this RRP work for them, these contractors must be trained and certified.
Workers will not be “grandfathered in” if they are in the middle of a RRP project on April 22, 2010. Rather, work on the project must stop, and all workers must be trained before work can continue.
Exemptions: It is important to note that these work practices may be waived under the following conditions:
��� The home or child-occupied facility was built after 1978.
��� The repairs are minor, with interior work disturbing less than six sq. ft. or exteriors disturbing less than 20 sq. ft.
��� The house or components test lead-free by a Certified Risk Assessor, Lead Inspector, or Certified Renovator.
��� The property owner is conducting the RRP work themself.
For additional information on this new rule and REALTOR® compliance responsibilities, including videos, FAQs, recorded webinars, and downloadable and printable powerpoints, visit www.realtor.org/government_affairs/lead_paint_main.