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What You Need to Know About Lead-Based Paint Exposure

Chipped Off Lead Paint Laying on the FloorEnsuring that your rental property is in a safe and habitable state is part of your role as a landlord and property owner in Fall River. For most property owners, this entails doing regular repairs and maintenance. If your rental house was built before 1978, it would be best to consider adding certain things to your property maintenance list. A lot of the inner walls and ceilings of older homes were created using lead-based paint. Lead-based paint can be severely dangerous to your tenants. This is why, as much as possible, landlords should consider limiting lead-based paint exposure. Next, we’re going to share a few of the secret dangers of lead-based paint in a rental home, as well as what property owners can do to help their tenants avoid exposure.

The Hidden Dangers of Lead Paint

Usually, buildings constructed before 1978 would make use of lead-based paint. If your walls have lead paint, it’s not necessarily dangerous. However, it becomes hazardous when the paint is disturbed, chips, or crumbles into dust. If a person (especially children) comes into contact with aged lead paint, it would be toxic. The most common area for this to happen would be around windows and window sills, railings, banisters, porches, doors, and door frames. For older individuals, consuming lead paint flakes or inhaling the dust can result in a host of health problems, including headaches, body aches, digestive issues, memory loss, and even kidney damage. Lead paint is mainly harmful to children, resulting in learning disabilities, hearing problems, nerve damage, and bone marrow challenges. Those who are unfortunate enough to find themselves exposed to lead-based paint can have problematic and lifelong health issues.

Landlord Responsibilities

Your top priority, as a landlord, should be the health and safety of your tenants. The risk of lead paint goes beyond that as well. In most states, if you are aware that you are renting a property with lead-based paint and do not tell your tenants about it, you could be liable for any associated expenses of treatment and other damages, such as pain and suffering. Therefore, it is important to know without a doubt whether your rental property has lead-based paint, inside or out, and take the needed next steps from there.

If you are not sure that your rental has lead-based paint or not, the primary thing you should do is to have it tested and inspected. Based on the property’s age and location, it may not be enough to depend on the disclosures provided to you when you bought the property. Then, you may be legally required to inform and explain to your tenants what lead-based paint is and the dangers of exposure if lead is detected.

Avoiding Tenant Exposure

One of the main things you can do to eliminate any chance of exposure is to have the lead paint removed entirely. This approach, while expensive, is the typical permanent long-term solution to the problem. You should not attempt to take off lead-based paint on your own; this is a job best left to the professionals.

If removal and replacement are not possible, you may also be able to encapsulate or enclose your rental’s exterior to avoid any exposure to lead paint. Encapsulation is the process where a watertight seal is created by applying a special coating over the lead paint. This is generally the more affordable option between the two. Meanwhile, the other route you can take is an enclosure. This is means covering the existing surface with a new one, just like when you put up new drywall over an existing wall or covering window sills with cladding. While both choices may temporarily work, if ever the coating does wear off or the enclosed exterior would become detached, the possibility of exposure will be very high. Depending on the laws in your area, you may also still need to provide disclosures to your tenant about the lead paint.


Owning rental properties can come with a couple of unexpected challenges. And we, here at Real Property Management Success, understand that. When obstacles do arise, you need the experience and resources of Fall River property management experts to aid you through. Contact us online to learn more.

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