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"Lead Based Paint - Fact vs. Fiction"

Originally appeared inNew Mexico Apartment Report Vol. 3.4 - Q4’96
The presence of Lead in paint has been proven in clinical tests to be harmful to young children. Based on clinical tests, Congress adopted a new law for disclosure of the presence of Lead Based Paint in residential and multi-family properties. The following are brief points and represent a synopsis of the many documents that we have reviewed with regards to lead based paint disclosure: Ø The regulation is addressed towards those communities that were built before 1978 (when production of lead based paint was halted). Ø As a potential seller of multi-family properties, the seller must disclose any knowledge (or lack of) in writing to the potential purchaser. Like wise, if the purchaser requests it, the seller must give the purchaser enough time to conduct a lead based paint inspection of the property (approximately 10 days). Ø The regulation covers residential homes and multifamily properties. Owner of five or more apartment units are required to comply by September 6, 1996, while owners of a fourplex or smaller should comply by December 6, 1996. Ø As a landlord, or property manager for a landlord, the potential tenant must receive a copy of the attached federal document Protect your Family From Lead in Your Home. If the property has been tested (whether it includes the unit in question or not), that information must be disclosed to the tenant. The tenant can request that a test be performed, but the landlord does not have to comply. Finally, all parties should execute a document that indicates the situation, and that all parties have been made aware of the potential (sample enclosed for leasing of units). All of the above should be completed prior to the tenant signing a lease. Ø The following properties are exempt: housing built after 1978, properties that have been previously tested and found lead-free by a certified inspector, “vacational rentals” of less than 100 days without extensions, leases that are renewed for tenant that have already received disclosure (unless the condition of lead changes), and zero bedroom (studio or efficiency) units where the sleeping area is not separate from the living area. One additional note - if you are purchasing an apartment community, we would highly recommend that you hire the services of a lead based paint inspector, and determine (and hopefully certify) the existence of lead based paint - before you buy. We have posted all of the above information including the federal pamphlet on our Internet site under “Apartment Articles” at http://www.nmcomreal.com/nmcomreal If you are unclear on what action to take, please call the National Lead Information Clearinghouse at 1-800-424-LEAD.

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by Todd Clarke CCIM (www.nmcomreal.com/nmcomreal)
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