The New Lead Paint Law - Who is Affected by It?

Real Estate Agent with The Buyers' Counsel

Legal books and gavelThe New Lead Paint Law - Who is Affected by It?  

You may or may not know about the New Lead Paint Law that went into effect on April 22, 2010.  It has not gotten much press since it does not have a direct impact on real estate professionals.    

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will now require that any renovation work that is performed on a home that was built prior to 1978 be done only by a certified contractor.  

Contractors with plans to continue working on older homes need to get the training and certification necessary before doing so.  The performance of renovation work on homes built prior to 1978 without the proper certification can result in fines that are equal to $37,500 per day.  

The New Lead Paint Law applies only to contractors and renovators and not to the "do-it-yourselfers."  They will still be able to perform RRP work without certification and without the fear of being fined. 

How Does The New Lead Paint Law Impact Realtors®? 

  • There are really no new forms to fill out or any revisions necessary to the existing forms. 
  • Realtors® need to be aware of the qualifications of any contractors that they recommend to clients, particularly those clients with older homes. 
  • For agents who are property managers or property owners, they need to be trained in the new lead-safe work practices and need to make sure that anyone hired to do this type of renovation work is trained and certified. 

There are several exceptions to the New Lead Paint Law right now: 

  • The dwelling was built after 1978. 
  • The work is of a minor nature - that is defined as work that is disturbing less than six square feet for an interior or less than 20 square feet for an exterior. 
  • The home tests lead free by a Certified Lead Paint Risk Assessor. 

There has been much confusion about the new law and many people, including some contractors, are unaware of it.  For further clarification on the New Lead Paint Law read more from NAR.  


Copyright 2010 "The New Lead Paint Law - Who is Affected by It?"

Claudette Millette, Broker, Owner, The Buyers' Counsel - (508) 881-6230

Your Buyer Broker for Massachusetts Since 1992

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Comments (16)

Craig Rutman
Helping people in transition - Cary, NC
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor

The best thing for any Realtor to do is to know this law! The liability of recommending someone who is not qualified to perform remediation is way to high not to!

May 18, 2010 01:46 PM
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


Wow, I did not know about this.

Featured in the Group "Whacked!!!"

May 18, 2010 02:44 PM
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

Good God - will someone define "disturbing?"

May 18, 2010 05:52 PM
Claudette Millette
The Buyers' Counsel - Ashland, MA
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass


You are so right about that - we have to be careful about anyone that we recommend.  And, this just made it a bit trickier.


I did not know about it either. I was at a closing last week and the closing attorney mentioned something about the new lead paint law, and I asked, "What new lead paint law?"  Obviously, a lot of people have not heard about it. So, I did some research on it.


That's a good question.  The dictionary reads, "interrupt, unsettle."  Perhaps that is what they mean.


May 19, 2010 01:30 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

I "read" ya baby.  There was an "opt out" for a while, but it appears that they've done away with that.

May 19, 2010 01:41 AM
Claudette Millette
The Buyers' Counsel - Ashland, MA
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass

Hi, Alan:

Thanks for reading.  You are always welcomed here.

May 19, 2010 10:31 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Claudette:  I think this is a great post.  I haven't heard much about the new lead paint laws, but this explains why.  In my five years in real estate, I've only deal with one renovation loan buyer, and the home they were renovating was built less than five years ago.

May 19, 2010 10:44 AM
Michael Delaware
North Sky Realty LLC - Battle Creek, MI

I have been starting to dig into this in my local area, as most of the homes in our City were built before 1978.  I have been working with the Board of Realtors to see if we can get some classes for certification under these new laws for agents that are interested.  Some Realtors are landlords, and so this topic is of strong interest.

May 19, 2010 10:57 AM
Better Built Craftsman LLC
Better Built Craftsman - Birmingham, AL
Home and Bathroom Remodeling

The new rules will cause contractors to raise there rates.  Some of the costs will be administrative, licensing, training & certifications.  A very expensive hepa- vacuum.  But most of the cost will be additional labor, maybe upto twice as long on some projects.  Now people like electricians and plumbers will have to start sealing of air vents, windows, whole rooms (interior/exterior) & perform special containment procedures to do even the smallest amount of work, thus adding extra time in labor, a few hours at the least.  Not to mention the plastics and control/containment systems.  So if you thought a plumber was expensive before, just wait till he has to start shrink wrapping a home to cut a small hole in the wall.  A few extra hours could cost hundreds, and someone is going to have to pay for these new fees and equipment.


Home Remodeling & Renovations



May 19, 2010 05:07 PM
Robert L. Brown - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic

I did not know anything about this "new law". These things tend to pop up you at the most inopportune time.

May 20, 2010 10:45 AM
June Tassillo
Owner/Broker RE/MAX Elite Realty - Franklin, NC
Let me help you with the next phase of your life!

This new law to me is ridiculous because if the law does not include the Do-it-yourselfs who is it protecting?  Why wouldn't you want to protect Everyone?  Fees will go UP for contractors & re-modelers astronomically.  More government involvement again and this will lead to more people out of work because their fees will be so high nobody can afford to hire them.  They will do it themselves or get a Tom, Dick or Harry with no license.

Why do we need this law????

May 21, 2010 04:47 AM
Terry Chenier
Homelife Glenayre Realty - Mission, BC


It seems every week there's something new to add to our kit. Tough to keep up sometimes.

May 22, 2010 05:31 AM
Tina Gleisner
Home Tips for Women - Portsmouth, NH
Home Tips for Women

Nice, direct summary of the new rule

May 22, 2010 02:15 PM
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

I guess I never even thought about the guys that work on the homes when purchased and the dangers they encounter


May 24, 2010 02:06 AM
Dick and Dixie Sells
Sells Real Estate, LLC - Trinity, FL
Realtors, Tampa Bay Florida Homes For Sale

thanks for the informative article. Russel Ray reblogged it and sent me over here.

Sep 08, 2010 12:37 AM
Fred Sweezer Sr.
Hud Certified 203K Consultant - Long Beach, CA
Certified Home Inspector
Inspectors can help ensure that renovation is performed in accordance with lead-safe work practice requirements required by the EPA and HUD Are you getting ready to paint or renovate your home or property? Was your property built prior to 1978? You should get familiar with the new EPA rules and regulations that became affective April 22th 2010 (40 CFR 745.223) All covered renovations must be performed by Certified Firms, using Certified Renovators and other trained workers. All homes built prior to 1978 shall be tested for LEAD by an EPA certified RRP renovator, the law establishes that no work shall be done unless a certified renovator has properly tested for Lead. About 86% of the homes built before 1940 contained lead, 66% of the homes built between 1940 and 1960 contained lead, and about 25% of the homes built between 1960 and 1978 contained lead, if your home was built prior to 1978, the paint that was used then, more likely will contain pigments of lead. Fred Sweezer Sr is a Certified Renovator Inspector 1-562-2342689
Mar 22, 2011 05:35 AM