Landlords and Property Managers in Virginia are required to follow many regulations and rules to ensure the safety and well-being of tenants. One of these concerns is lead-based paint, and the rules surrounding disclosure and possible disturbance to painted surfaces.  

Before it was outlawed in 1978, lead-based paint was commonly used in homes, and there are many homes on the market now that were constructed prior to 1978 and still contain lead-based paint. Lead is an element that is highly toxic, particularly for children. Lead exposure in children can lead to severe health problems.  

When it comes to rental properties and lead-based paint, landlords and property managers must consider their disclosure requirements and the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule. Regarding disclosure, landlords and property managers are required to disclose to tenants any known lead-based paint hazards in the home. This disclosure must be made in writing before the tenant signs a lease. Additionally, landlords must provide tenants with an EPA-approved pamphlet describing the dangers of lead exposure and how to minimize exposure. The pamphlet is entitled “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home.” Finally for the disclosure requirement, landlords and property managers must attach a lead disclosure or insert language in the lease that includes a “Lead Warning Statement,” and confirms that the landlord has complied with all notification requirements. As property managers, you are required to inform landlords of these disclosure requirements. Virginia REALTORS® Form 1300 (Disclosure of Information for Lead-Based Paint – Rental) is available to ensure you comply with these disclosure requirements.  

Now that you have satisfied your disclosure requirements, let’s discuss the RRP Rule. The RRP Rule sets out training, certification, and requirements, among other things, for firms who perform, offer, or claim to perform renovations, repair, and painting in homes or facilities built prior to 1978. If you are a property management firm and you offer to provide landlords with property management services that include maintenance, repair, painting, renovations, or other activities that disturb painted surfaces in pre-1978 homes, the property management firm needs to now be lead-safe certified. This also includes firms who only solicit bids from third-party contractors who are certified. Both the property management firm and the contractor performing the repair, renovation, or maintenance need to be lead-safe certified. The property management firm cannot shift liability any longer to the contractor. If you need more information on Lead-Safe Certification, you can visit EPA’s website.   

Complying with the disclosure requirements and RRP Rule not only fulfills your legal obligations, but it also helps ensure the safety of your tenants. Remember that you not only have to disclose known hazards and general information on the dangers of lead-based paint, but if you are doing any maintenance or repair that disturbs painted surfaces, you need to be lead-safe certified.