Lead Paint Risk Assessment
All rental properties in the State of Maryland that were built before 1978 must have lead paint screening each and every time that a new lease is signed.
- Lead Free: this is for newer homes built after 1978 or homes that were lead remediated during rehab. This is a big deal and generally you know if you are lead free because you never have to be inspected again once found lead free. To get lead free can be very expensive.
- Lead Safe: (99% of older homes) this is the more practical version of lead control. Lead safe means that there is no exposure to lead because the lead is encapsulated in paint or by using other methods. If you are “lead safe”, every time you change tenants, you must be tested again. Lead screening involves making sure that there is no chipping or peeling paint and then testing to Maryland Department of the Environment guidelines. I can offer you the same type of preparation tips as I give for rental inspections.
- Advance Notice: Century Inspections need 24 to 48 hours advance notice to do a lead inspection. MDE requires us to notify them of our inspection activities 24 hours in advance.
- Tracking Number: Before we can do an inspection, you need to get an MDE Tracking Number by calling 800-776-2706 or 410-537-4199. You can usually get the number on the spot. Just have that available at the time of inspection.
- Preparation for Lead Testing: There are two areas where the landlord needs to focus to get ready to pass a lead test:
- Chipping and Peeling Paint: There can be no chipping or peeling paint inside or outside of the house. A visual inspection will tell us whether or not we can do the sampling. After November 1, a Winter Exception can be given for exterior chipping or peeling paint because paint will not cure when it is too cold. The Winter Exception also means that you will have to have the outside of your property re-inspected after April 1st of the following year for a nominal charge ($50). If the landlord does not have the exterior re-inspected, the Inspection Certificate will become void.
- Cleaning: Clean floors, windowsills and window wells in advance of the sampling. Unclean surfaces are a common cause for failure.
- If You Fail: If you fail, retesting of the failed areas is required with in 30 days of the original test date. There is a trip charge of $50 plus $12 per swab. We only test the failed areas. Retesting must be completed with 30 days of the original test or a fail certificate is issued and the process must start over, including a retest of the entire property.
- Field Blanks: The MDE requires that each sample set also have a “Field Blank” included. This is a control sample that is completely sanitary to ensure the integrity of the sampling.
- Landlords must have a Full Risk Assessment every time they change tenants.
Once you pass and are issued a Lead Certificate, you should keep the white copy for your records and the pink copy must be given to your tenant along with the “Tenants Rights” brochure. A copy of that brochure is available on the website.