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As a landlord, property manager or property management company, there is a responsibility for the safety of the tenants. This means properly preparing for the renovation and keeping persons out of the work area. It also means ensuring the contractor uses lead-safe work practices.

Beginning April 2010, federal law will require that contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, apartments, residential rental properties built before 1978 to be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.

Until contractors are required to be certified, make sure your contractor can explain clearly the details of the job and how the contractor will minimize lead hazards during the work.

1. Ask if the contractor is trained to perform lead-safe work practices and to see a copy of their training certificate.

2. Ask them what lead-safe methods they will use to set up and perform the job in your home, child care facility or school.

3. Ask if the contractor is aware of the lead renovation rules. For example, contractors are required to provide you with a copy of this pamphlet before beginning work. A sample pre-renovation disclosure form is provided at the back of this pamphlet. Contractors may use this form to make documentation of compliance easier.

4. Ask for references from at least three recent jobs involving homes built before 1978, and speak to each personally. Always make sure the contract is clear about how the work will be set up, performed, and cleaned.

5. Share the results of any previous lead tests with the contractor.

6. Even before contractors are required to be certified you should specify in the contract that they follow the work practices described on pages 9 and 10 of this brochure.

7. The contract should specify which parts of your home are part of the work area and specify which lead-safe work practices should be used in those areas. Remember, your contractor should confine dust and debris to the work area and should minimize spreading that dust to other areas of the home.

8. The contract should also specify that the contractor clean the work area, verify that it was cleaned adequately, and re-clean it if necessary.

Once these practices are required, if you think a worker is failing to do what they are supposed to do or is doing something that is unsafe, you should:

1. Direct the contractor to comply with the contract requirements,

2. Call your local health or building department, or

3. Call EPAs hotline 1-800-424-LEAD (5323).

Download guide for handling lead based paints Lead Hazard Information for Landlords, Property Managers and Property Management Companies (1.41Mb pdf)

This blog post for Real Estate Professionals, Investors, Landlord, Property Manager, and Property Management Companies is brought to you by SimplifyEm Pay Rent Online and Property Management Software.

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