lead hazard cleveland Ohio

7 Replies

my fellow investors!

I am about to close on a house in Cleveland.

Title company notice that in the certificate of disclosure that came back from the city

the "open lead hazard control orders after Dec 31 2010" box is checked. 

seller claim he has no idea why. should i continue with the closing? any advice? 

Thanks so much!!

@Itay Heled Any home built in the USA prior to 1978 is considered to potentially contain lead paint. Lead paint ingestion is a genuine hazard to kids, especially when they're teething and munching on just about anything. This is why the federal government mandates lead paint abatement for any home with fed-backed loans (FHA, VA, USDA) that has kids 6 years old or younger living there. Mass and Maine both mandate it regardless of financing.

Toddlers are known to eat paint chips too.  Given that a paint chip the size of a quarter can cause actual brain damage, it's best to take this very seriously.  In addition to crippling fines, you don't want to live with the knowledge that your negligence has wrecked a kids life forever.

I'm not familiar with the particular phrasing of that statement, but it sounds like the city thinks there's a lead hazard there.  Or it could be that due to the age of the home, they issued an order for testing and abatement, effective December 31, 2010 (just a guess on my part).

This is something that you should have discussed with your Realtor prior to making an offer - and it should have been disclosed with a form you had to sign. At least that's how it's done in the two states where I'm licensed (Mass and Maine). In fact, in Mass, sellers are able to deny you any inspections except lead paint. They're required by state law to allow it.

Whether you should close or not is completely up to you, but depending on where you are in the process, you might lose your deposit if your contract doesn't have a provision allowing you to cancel.  Those provisions are time sensitive, so you should jump on this ASAP.

I'd also search for lead testing & abatement companies near you.  Get quotes from at least 3 and compare.

BTW, this is *NOT* a DIY job.  At least in Mass., the penalties for unlicensed lead abatement are pretty severe.  This is because lead paint dust will be a hazard for those who are working on the job too, so you'll see them working in full HAZMAT gear and sealing the work area off from the rest of the house.

Finally, you may not have to remove lead paint.  Encapsulation is another less expensive option to explore, but again, be sure to use a licensed contractor.

Here's a couple of resources for Ohio  http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3742 and https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/porta...

And from the EPA, https://www.epa.gov/lead/lead-...

Good luck!

Hi Itay, 

I would say the seller may be telling the truth. I am sure He/She bought it after the fact and probably never did city of Cleveland disclosure forms to check. With that said, sometimes it is not bad to cleans up and can be an AMAZING negotiation tool to get huge discounts at closing. I would be happy to look the report over with you to give my opinion. I have some guys that can do it if necessary. 

Good luck!! 

Meticulous Vision Property Inspection.  I am based out of northeast Ohio.  Most older homes here in Ohio have lead base paint. It usually has 5 coats of paint over it, but it’s there. But It’s only harmful if aggravated by sanding it down or ingesting. I disclose that to my clients all of the time.
Hope this helps!!

Johnny Mathis