Lead paint

10 Replies

Hello Bigger Pockets!!!!!  I am a newbie and only have 1 rental property at the current time. I bought the property as a residence for my daughter when she was a student at The University of Oklahoma.  Since she graduated 2 years ago and the property is over 200 miles from where I live, I want to sell the property and reinvest the equity in starting my business here in North Texas.  My question is that homes built prior to 1978 probably have a lead based paint.  As a landlord, what is my responsibility regarding a property that I own containing a lead based paint.  Is there a sealer?  Is painting over the lead based paint sufficient?  I certainly would not want a nightmare with the first property that I buy in my local area and would absolutely not want to injure a child because of my negligence.  Any responses would be very educational for me.  Thanks everyone.


Hi Kevin,

What is the condition of the paint? Is it peeling or coming off the walls in any way? You'll have to check your local laws but in most states the you need to provide your tenants with an notice stating that there may be lead based paint and you have to state whether you are aware of any or if there is just the possibility due to the age of the home. If the paint is in good condition then there's not much risk of contamination and you don't usually have to do anything. Yes, you can paint over it but you still have to provide the notice. If the paint is peeling/cracking, etc then typically you are required to get it remedied.

Again, you'll need to check your local laws to make sure you are in compliance.

Best of luck!


Thanks Eric.  At the moment, the question is hypothetical.  I am looking at properties in a specific area to start my business.  Most of these properties were built in the 1950's and early 1960's.  So as to the condition of the paint, I don't know.  The question was more for my education before I bought a property and ended up having to invest much more on rehab than I intended.  Do you know a good website where I can read about "the local laws" regarding this issue?  Thanks again for your response.


Any property built before 1978 is presumed to contain lead-based paint.  Compliance with EPA Lead-based paint RRP (renovation, repair and painting) guidelines is a federal requirement, though some states administer the guidelines. (Oklahoma is one of those but has essentially adopted the federal guidelines).  By and large, remediation is not required but any repair that disturbs potential lead-based paint must be handled within the guidelines, which begin with testing for the presence of lead-based paint in the area. If lead-based paint is found, specific containment and clean-up standards MUST be met. If the home is in good condition and you are not contemplating repairs, you still are required to notify any tenants that the property is presumed to contain lead-based paint and provide them with the EPA booklet for being "lead safe."  You can find the booklet at EPA.gov. If you are selling the home, this disclosure will be standard fare to your agent.  For years we were able to just use the booklets the realtors gave us to pass on to tenants. Now we print our own from the EPA site.

Thank you so much Deborah.  I hate it when something so obvious (EPA.gov) doesn't pop into my head.  I will check that out immediately to gain more education for myself.  As a newbie, I want to try and avoid a major mistake heading into starting my own RE/land lording business.  I know I will make some errors but appreciate the community help to try and avoid the big ones.

Thanks again,


If you have a local investment group i recommend going to make some contractor type contacts that can give you referrals for stuff like companies that do lead inspections. Once you have hired them to do a inspection you can pick their brain about local laws and whats required if you have lead in your home. Try to pick a company that specializes in lead work and not just one that does it as a sideline. They are much more knowledgeable and willing to give you the advice to keep you as a client and not leave you exposed to a  potential lead lawsuit.

If your keeping the property as a long term rental i recommend have the lead test done with an XRF gun instead of dust wipes. It will cost more initially but if you are lead free you should never have to do the test again saving you money over the long run.

Thanks Bob.  Great advice.

I agree with Bob. Get a lead inspector in there and go after that "lead-free" cert so you never have to worry about any lead paint issues again. I don't know about your area but in my area we have to pay a yearly fee of to register the property, with the lead free cert we don't have to register.

Just remember if you get an inspection and they identify lead paint you MUST disclose it from that point on.

@Kevin Brewer  there's a disclosure that's a federal requirement.  Its mainly about informing your tenants about "How to Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home" which is the title of the required publication that goes with the disclosure.  You may have something local in addition to the federal rules, but most of what you need to know is found here:


Any time you have peeling paint, your property is due for maintenance.  When your house was built before 1978, you need a lead based paint certified painter/contractor to do the work to make sure they follow practices that contain any dust or paint chips created in the process.


I am so glad I found this site.  I have learned so much just reading what others have had to say.  Thank you for your response, it is very helpful.  Hopefully someday I can return the favor to another newbie.


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