CAR on Lead Base Paint Renovation Rules

Published: April 22, 2010

I realize there aren’t too many problems locally with lead base paint since much of community has been built since the lead-based paint ban went into effect. However, there are a few and if you have one this is for you…

Starting today, renovations that disturb lead-based paint in older residential dwellings and child-occupied facilities must generally comply with the Lead-Based Paint Renovation Rule of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  REALTORS® acting as listing agents or property managers who advise their clients to perform renovations, repairs, or painting projects for such properties may, as a matter of prudence, also want to inform them about these lead renovation requirements.  One common example is when a listing agent recommends that a seller has a home painted to improve its marketability.

Under the newly implemented rule, renovators of target housing built before 1978 must now be trained and EPA-certified to perform safe work practices to prevent lead contamination.  Additionally, renovators must deliver EPA’s lead renovation pamphlet to an occupant within 60 days before a project begins (and, if mailed, at least seven days before a project begins).  Renovators must also obtain the occupant’s signed acknowledgment of receipt or substitute documentation as specified.

The EPA issued this rule in 2008, but delayed implementation until now.  The rule generally applies to building contractors, handymen, residential landlords, property managers, and anyone else who is paid to perform renovations or to direct workers to perform renovations as specified.  The lead renovation rule does not apply to homeowners renovating the homes they live in.  However, sellers of target housing must, among other things, disclose to their buyers any known lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards (C.A.R. Form FLD).

Renovation work covered by the lead renovation rule is defined as a modification of an existing structure that disturbs a painted surface, such as surface restoration or surface preparation activity.  Excluded are minor repair and maintenance activities that disrupt up to 6 square feet of interior painted surface or 20 square feet of exterior painted surface.  Demolitions and window replacements are not considered minor repairs.

For more information about the lead renovation rule, C.A.R. offers a legal article entitled Federal Lead-Based Paint Renovation Rule.  See also EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting webpage which includes the new requirements, pamphlets, and other resources.  To locate an EPA-certified renovation firm, go to

SIGN UP FOR MONTHLY LEGAL WEBINAR: Join us for an hour on May 3, 2010 starting at 1 p.m. for our monthly Legal Live Webinar.  C.A.R.’s Senior Counsel Stella Ling will provide a brief update on hot legal issues, and answer Member Legal Hotline questions from webinar attendees.  Here’s your chance to get answers to your own legal questions, as well as find out how to handle legal challenges other REALTORS® may be facing.  Legal Live Webinars are offered free of charge as a member benefit to C.A.R. REALTORS® only.  Registration is simple, but space is limited, so sign up now at
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Realegal® is published by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, a trade association representing more than 175,000 REALTORS® statewide.

Edited by: Stella Ling, [email protected]

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Last modified: April 22, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Originally published: April 22, 2010 at 2:19 pm
Printed: September 22, 2020