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What You Need to Know About Lead-Based Paint Exposure

Chipped Off Lead Paint Laying on the FloorAs a McKinney landlord and property owner, it is your duty to keep your rental property in a safe and habitable condition. For some property owners, this specifies carrying out regular maintenance and repairs. But you have to know, if your rental house was built before 1978, that there are certain things that you may want to include on your property maintenance list. For instance, lots of older homes were built using lead-based paint on interior walls and ceilings. Lead-based paint can be extremely dangerous to your tenants, which is why landlords should be concerned about limiting lead-based paint exposure as much as possible. In the ensuing paragraphs, we’ll discourse on some of the hidden dangers of lead-based paint in a rental home and what property owners can do to effectively help their tenants ward off exposure.

The Hidden Dangers of Lead Paint

Lead-based paint was a rather common material used in buildings created just before 1978. Employing lead paint on the walls is not necessarily dangerous unless the paint is disturbed, chips, or crumbles into dust. As lead paint ages, it becomes toxic to people (especially children) who come into contact with it. The most common areas for this to take place would be around windows and window sills, railings, banisters, porches, and doors and door frames. For adults, ingesting lead paint flakes or inhaling the dust can bring about a host of health problems, as for instance headaches, body aches, digestive issues, memory loss, and even kidney damage. But above all, lead paint is primarily detrimental to children, which leads to learning disabilities, hearing problems, nerve damage, and bone marrow issues. Such health issues can have a crushing and lifelong impact on those really unfortunate enough to find themselves exposed to lead-based paint.

Landlord Responsibilities

As a landlord, the health and safety of your tenants should be an utmost priority. The risks of lead paint stretch beyond that, moreover. In actuality, in a majority of states, if you knowingly rent a property with lead-based paint without disclosing that fact to your tenants, you could be liable for any associated costs of treatment and other damages, such as pain and suffering. Thus, it’s essential to find out without a doubt whether your rental property has lead-based paint, inside or out, and take any appropriate procedures from there.

If you don’t know whether your rental has lead-based paint or not, the most important thing you have got to do is have it tested and inspected. Conditional on the property’s age and location, it may not be just enough to rely on disclosures provided to you when you purchased the property. After that, if the lead is detected, you may be legally required to notify your tenants and impart information about lead-based paint and the dangers of exposure.

Avoiding Tenant Exposure

Another great way to get rid of any chance of exposure is to have the lead paint removed entirely. This choice, though expensive, is the most permanent long-term solution to the threat. Do not attempt to remove lead-based paint yourself; this is a work better just given to the professionals.

If removal and replacement aren’t a possible option, you may just be able to encapsulate or enclose your rental’s surfaces to prevent any contact with the lead paint. Encapsulation, usually the more cost-effective option of the two, is a practice where a special coating is applied over the lead paint, creating a watertight seal. In contrast, enclosure involves covering the existing surface with a new one, such as putting up new drywall over an existing wall or covering window sills with cladding. Though both options may get results temporarily, if the coating ever wears off or the enclosed surface is removed, the risk of exposure will be very high. You may still need to render disclosures to your tenant in reference to the lead paint, conditional on the laws in your area.


At Real Property Management One Source, we grasp that owning rental properties can come with some unforeseen challenges. When troubles do transpire, you need the experience and resources of McKinney property management experts to really help see you through. Contact us online to find out more.

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