Lead Based Paint

What does the Lead Law require?

The Lead Law requires the removal or covering of lead paint hazards in homes built before 1978 where any children under 6 live.

Lead paint hazards include loose lead paint, lead paint on windows and friction surfaces, and other surfaces accessible to children. Owners are responsible with complying with the law. This includes owners of rental property as well as owners living in their own single family home. Financial help is available through tax credits, grants and loans.

Tenant Lead Law Notification

About the Tenant Lead Law Notification

Under Massachusetts and federal law, owners must comply with Tenant Notification requirements when a prospective tenant is about to rent a home built before 1978. This applies whether they have a child under 6 or not. The aim of this requirement is to inform tenants about:

  • The danger lead paint poses to children and adults
  • Lead poisoning prevention steps
  • The requirements of the Lead Law

What owners need to do

To comply with both the state and federal Tenant Notification requirements, the owner must supply the prospective tenant the following documents before entering a rental agreement:

  • Two copies of the Tenant Notification and Tenant Certification Form (one for the owner to keep and one for the tenant to keep)
  • A copy of the most recent lead inspection or risk assessment report for the rental unit, if one exists
  • A copy of any Letter of Compliance or Letter of Interim Control for the rental unit, if it exists
  • Owners and tenants can check the Massachusetts  Lead Safe Homes database to see if there is prior inspection history.

The tenant and owner must each keep a completed and signed Tenant Certification Form, which certifies that the tenant has received the information.

Common Questions for Landlords

If I own a rental property, can I be held liable for a lead poisoned child?

Yes. If a child has lead poisoning from lead hazards where the child lives, you are legally responsible.

An owner cannot avoid liability by asking tenants to sign an agreement that they accept the presence of lead paint.

Complying with the Lead Law is the best protection you have from liability, and it protect children living in your home.

Can I evict or refuse to rent to a family with children under six if there is lead paint in the home?

No. You cannot evict, or refuse to rent to anyone because of lead paint. Discrimination is against the law and carries penalties.

For more information against discrimination, call the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.