Lead Based Paint

12 Replies

Should this keep me from buying a property?

No you just need to budget for dealing with it in areas like mine most multifamily where built when lead paint was still used.

Just keep in mind (and budget) that dealing with it would be stripping to the bare wood and repainting. Get lots of bids, go with reputable painters so the job is done right.

Thank you so much for the quick responses @Walter V. and @Thomas Quinn .
The place we are looking at was built in 1880 (renovated)
We need to test it for the lead paint, but I wasn't sure how big of a process this all is, is it a timely process to get tested, and then treated ?

Lead paint is a concern for sure, considering the age of the building. 

Built in 1880, you mention it was renovated & I would be curious how many times.

In part, this is in jest, however, a concern would be with the various building materials, throughout the years, specifically those including asbestos.  

Good Luck with your investments...cheers

I give possible lead disclosures. If someone started talking to me about some ridiculous lead remediation I wouldn't even deal with them. Of course some states may be sticklers about it

Is the lead remediation pricey ?

Lauren, for our investing, we consider it a huge factor.   Read through the EPA rules and your state's rules as well (many are more strict), as any repair that disturbs over 6 sq ft in a room (that includes sanding walls), will require either you or your contractor to have a lead safe certification and use lead-safe practices.  And I hear this can mean things like erecting barrier walls outside if you are replacing windows, for example, so wind cannot spread any dust.  We have bought one home built before 1978 but had XRF testing done during the inspection phase to insure no lead paint was present.  I realize it greatly limits our choice in investment property, and who knows what will become the latest fear factor in building materials from homes built in the 80s or newer that could put us in the same boat as the lead and asbestos crowd, but since we already know there are huge issues rising with lead (like children able to sue landlords years later for lead exposure as children), we'd rather just avoid it.     

Thank you all for the input, I think we have decided to pass on the property.. It isn't going to be a good fit for what we are looking for.

Originally posted by @Lauren Lee :

Thank you all for the input, I think we have decided to pass on the property.. It isn't going to be a good fit for what we are looking for.

 I am not familiar with your area, but because you are in the northeast like me, I will assume that a lot of your housing was built pre-1978 when lead-based paint was outlawed.  Every property I own falls into this category.  It is DEFINITELY something to be aware of, but doesn't have to be something to be afraid of either.

There are specific disclosures required regarding lead paint risks when renting.  They are pretty simple and straight forward.  Along with that, you are required to give out a booklet, which is  a free download from the EPA website I believe (I have had it so long I can't remember where I got it).  There are also extra steps required when doing repairs.  Familiarize yourself with the RRP laws, info. should also be on the EPA website.

In most instances, you must simply make a rental unit lead SAFE, not necessarily lead FREE.  There is a HUGE difference in both cost and scope of what is required for each.  Lead safe could simply involve painting over old lead paint with latex.  You do NOT have to strip ALL paint in order to be lead safe as advised by a previous poster.  That is only a requirement if you are required to ABATE the lead paint, aka remove it.

I would advise you to consider ALL potential investments and know as much as you can about potential risks.  Asbestos is another potential risk.  Understanding it better will help you make more informed decisions.

Good luck.

@Adam Johnson

Thank you for the advice, it makes a lot more sense now.
I was actually just looking at the encapsulation process which seems like a more manageable option rather than the removal.

Glad to help. I would encourage you to find a local resource to take the RRP class at minimum, even if you don't plan on doing repairs yourself. the training is relatively inexpensive at most venues and will help you learn a lot in a very short time AND put you in a room with people that will be able to answer many of your questions with accurate and real world answers.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you