Lead Based Paint testing. Is this a requirement?

5 Replies

If I own a multifamily home that was built before 1978, is it required that the property is tested for lead based paint?  

The lease that I am using is as up date date as any lease for the State of Minnesota, and it includes "Lead paint warning and disclosure. Housing built prior to 1978." I will be giving my tenants a "Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home" pamphlet that was created by the EPA. However, I am unsure if it is required that I get the property tested for lead and give the report to my tenants? 

Any information would be greatly appreciated!


Every state is different. In MA, you cannot rent to a family with children under the age of 6 if you don't have a lead certificate on file, which means it's been tested by a lead inspector and made safe by a licensed deleader. In MA, you also can't discriminate against a family, even if it's because you know there's lead based paint (LBP) present. By law, you must delead if a family wants to rent. 

Another little known law is that when you buy a rental property in MA, you have 90 days to have it deleaded in order to avoid liability. Which means, if a past or current tenant had lead poisoning, you would be on the hook in the lawsuit if you didn't delead in the first 90. Even though you weren't the property owner at the time of the poisoning. Not fair at all, but MA wants all rentals lead safe and they're doing everything they can to get them that way.

With all that being said, check your state laws, not the EPA site. Federal laws are the same for every state. Your state might have put stricter laws in place like MA did.

@Samuel J Claeson you have to check local/state law because this requirement can vary. In my state, we are only required to disclose whether or not we know of lead-based paint, share copies of records (if any), and provide the renter/buyer with a pamphlet on how to protect themselves from lead-based paint (don't eat the paint).

It's federal law that you must provide tenants with a lead-based paint disclosure and the "protect your family from lead in your home" pamphlet for any homes built prior to 1978.  More information is found here: