Stuck with Lead affected property

33 Replies


I am stuck with Lead affected property for over one year, it is marked lead affected by health department in Youngstown, Ohio. 

Without fixing it we can't rent and also no one wants to buy. only thing i want right now to fix this issue in a reasonable price to get this thing rented.

If you have any contacts, please share, who can guide me in this situation, 



@Manmit Singh

What are the costs to get it back to habitable?

What would it rent for?

What is the property worth now?

What would the property be worth if fixed?

@James Wise or @Engelo Rumora have you ever dealt with this issue in Ohio?

so sorry to hear this. i cringe just reading this..

Where is the lead? In the paint? In the soil? Some where else? Here in CA if lead is in the paint you mask off the area, remove flaking chips, wet sand where needed, and paint over it.  The chips have to be bagged with the top of the bag sealed with duct tape, and everything HEPA vacuumed.  Here in  CA there is an 8  hire class to become lead certified.  If you can find such a class there then at least you'll know what needs done and how to get it done. 

Originally posted by @Brie Schmidt :

@Manmit Singh

What are the costs to get it back to habitable?

What would it rent for?

What is the property worth now?

What would the property be worth if fixed?

@James Wise or @Engelo Rumora have you ever dealt with this issue in Ohio?

Thanks for the mention Brie,

Busy times on this end and would have to do some research as I'm not competent on all of the regulations.

James has more experience is this arena than myself and could probably give an immediate answer.


ps. Brie, stop tagging me in such complicated posts hahahaha. Also, I still have you mind for Wisconsin Cashflow ok? ;)

@Brie Schmidt

thanks for replying and tagging

What are the costs to get it back to habitable? -- realtor says that it will take 8-9K

What would it rent for? - it will rent for 550/month

What is the property worth now? - it is worth 15K

What would the property be worth if fixed? - it wont make much of a difference, but if it is rented then i have a chance to recover the money over a period of time. these properties are purely cash flow, it wont sell it for more.

This post has been removed.

What do you need to do? Abate the led paint?

How does the realtor know how much it would cost? Do they/you already know exactly what in the house needs to be fixed? More details please.

Yes, i want to avoid the lead abatement @James Wise

@Nicole W. 

@Nicole W.undefined

 yes, realtor is guestimating, have you had this problem before in Baltimore

Originally posted by @Manmit Singh:

Yes, i want to avoid the lead abatement @James Wise

@Nicole W. 

yes, realtor is guestimating, have you had this problem before in Baltimore

@Manmit Singh what is it you are looking for?  You are complaining about an empty property you can't sell or rent due to lead issues yet you just stated in your post immediately above this that you want to avoid the lead abatement.

Considering this house will be worth $15,000 after it is fixed, it is a pure cash flow property and you don't want to fix the problem, I take it you are a slum lord that is simply looking for an easy way out.

Am I missing anything?  If so....explain.  

We know the problem.  What is an acceptable solution to you and what are you doing to work towards that solution?

@Manmit Singh

 I just went through this in NJ. I cringed at the initial thought that I was poisoning someone but the truth is lead paint is everywhere and everyone has levels of lead in their body. Young children are typically those who suffer from lead poisoning. Having said all that in NJ you must use a state certified contractor to perform any lead abatement, the home cannot be occupied at the time of abatement and there is an inspection required by both the local government and a third party other than the contractor performing the abatement.

I had trim replaced on 3 bedrooms, we are talking 5 " base trim, doors and windows. All total it cost me around $3000. I shopped around for this price with the first two specialists coming in at $5k and 6k.

Complete the abatement, fix the unit and over time you will hopefully regain profitability

@Manmit Singh

 The last property I bought I had to make lead free. It wasn't really much of a problem. My building was built in 1943. The only lead found inside my building was in 3 windows. I had planned to change those windows out because they were in terrible shape.

Unless an actual test has been done on the property to show where the lead is, then no one (including your realtor) has any idea how much money or effort it'd take to rid of it.

You have to fix the property anyway, so either way you're putting money into it.

Get the lead test so you know exactly what areas need lead remediation. It's not always as scary as it sounds. 

Once you pay off this fix-up and lead abatement, the cashflow will almost be all gravy. Just do what needs to be done and make your money back asap.

@Jon Lafferty

So you were required to hire only certain contractors to change out your trim? You couldn't just hire anyone (or yourself) to change out the trim? That's typically an easy job that shouldn't cost $3000 unless the rooms are huge, the trim is top of the line, and the contractors are expensive.

I understand rules are different everywhere. I was able to hire anyone to replace my windows that had lead in them.

@Chris Simmons

actually you are right, i thought of selling it, once i found the problem, but now i have thought to keep the property and get it fixed, change in mind happened because of i didn't get the right price. if i fix it, i might have the chance to recover over the years

Still not understanding what we are talking about in this thread.

Is the question how to abate the lead paint or how to avoid abating the lead paint?

If it is how to abate the lead paint the answer is to contact lead certified contractors and have them come out and give you quotes....This will be pretty expensive but that's what you sign up for when you buy rental properties. Especially ones worth 15k.

If the question is how can you avoid getting it abated. The answer is your probably cannot. Maybe if it is just some peeling on the exterior of the house you can have it encapsulated with vinyl siding. 

Always consult the city and your lawyer in these situations.

@Nicole W. while state laws vary the Federal laws do not. EPA regs are here... Federal Lead Laws... but if you hired just anyone, or did the work yourself, then you're at risk of having the same issue as the OP. In MA is called "Unauthorized Deleading" (OP called it "lead affected") and once your house is tagged with UD, you can't get a lead cert. Every state will have a name for it, but basically it's illegal deleading. People that don't know how to handle lead might think that a coating of paint over the lead is good enough. Well, if its a corner or edge that a kid can get its mouth on, its not enough. If its a window or door, its not enough. There are rules and laws that have to be folllowed. A shop vac with a HEPA filter in it isn't enough and if that's what your using, you can get a $32,500 fine. 

People who are thinking of dealing with lead need to read and understand the Federal laws and their State laws. People who have read the laws shouldn't give advice to people who haven't, other then for THEM to go read the laws. If you can't read and understand the laws, then hire a licensed deleader, you're going to anyway. Why would you want to risk the ridiculously high fines we face of we do it wrong?

remember Derrick is in the business of scareing people about lead in order to promote his lead removal business. most of this lead nonsense about casual contact with lead is ridiculous but politicians get votes passing legislature that doesn't affect their own pocket book or those of their ignorant voters. I would sell the place for as little rent as your getting, your mistake was getting on the city's radar in the first place.

All of this is so strange to hear.  All of my units are post 1978 but I'm now thinking of buying pre 1978 to increase cash flow and deal with this sellers market.  Most of the people I talk with say not to worry whether there's lead or not, just paint over it.  So do most people on here do a lead test on pre 1978 properties before buying?

@Nicole W.

So do you do a lead test before buying on pre 1978 purchases?  I heard a big investor in Baltimore doesn't worry about that on houses 1950 to 1978.  He assumes they are lead free.  Big assumption to me.  For pre 1950 he assumes they are leaded and fixes the issue.  Seems to me that spending the money upfront to see if it has it is a good idea.

@Derreck Wells

 To get my lead free certification, I had to pass a lead test which was handled by a local lead company. They did the test and said "You have lead in these three windows. Have your handyman or contractor replace them and once done, contact me so I can verify that the affected windows have indeed been replaced."

They said nothing about a special type of "de-leader" to do it. Maybe that's because it was just windows.

Anyway, @Scott P. , yes, I got the lead test the same day as the home inspection before buying my last property. It was the first building I purchased that wasn't already lead free certified. Now in Baltimore/Maryland, you can't rent a house out unless it is at least lead-safe. I'm not sure how the guy you're talking about fixes a lead issue if he doesn't know exactly where the lead is.

MA has the toughest lead laws in the country ... I have plenty of de-leaded units.  Most of this can be DIY:

Replace windows and door

FLIP moldings after running the edges thru your table saw.

Carpet stairs

Replace ballisters

Now have it tested and treat as necessary.  Most states now allow an encapsulant ... I have not tried this (yet).   

It just one of those things where investors are not in compliance and take a risk.

I could see a landlord renting a unit and someone gets sick and they get a lawyer and sue. Lawyer finds out lead was not remediated according to EPA lead rules and goes after landlord for damages.

I am sure plenty of landlords patch over these things and it is not correct. I understand why because certified contractors are so high to fix anything. Some people are not even aware of the EPA rules still. It's might seem so cheap for investors to get rid of lead in other ways but the EPA does not approve of those procedures. 

@Tim Ryan,  "Flipping" the moulding is legal for a deleader to do, it's called reversal and it's considered a "low risk" method, but cutting the edge with your table saw is considered a "high risk" method since you're creating lead dust when you cut through the paint. However, if you do any of this before you get a lead inspection to try to pass the inspection, it is illegal and considered unauthorized deleading. If you are simply renovating your apartment it is legal, but reversal is obvious deleading, no one does that while renovating. 

Trying to save money on deleading now can cost you a fortune later.

I know of a lady who got sued and she lost the building to the tenant. The tenant now owns the property. Lead lawsuits are no joke. The state of MA has programs where they will finance the project and the owner repays the loan when they sell the house. They offer tax credits, financing, grants, etc. The judges look at it like they gave you plenty of opportunity to address the issue, the State tried to help, if you didn't do it it's your fault.

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