Lead Paint in New Jersey
As of July 22nd, 2022 the State of New Jersey and the Department of Community Affairs has implemented a new program requiring ALL residential rental units built prior to 1978 to be inspected for lead paint within two years or upon tenant turn over, which ever is less.
As Realtors and other types of real estate professionals working in the field it is important to understand what lead paint is and how it effects children as this is a matter of public health and safety. However it is also important to understand how this new program works as it may impact real estate sales and/or rentals. First, a brief explanation on what lead paint.
Lead is a toxic, naturally occurring element and heavy metal that was widely used in commercial products such as paint. Lead exposure in children can cause nervous system and kidney damage, as well as learning disabilities, attention-deficit disorder, and decreased intelligence. It can also cause behavior, speech, and language problems, hearing damage, decreased muscle and bone growth, and poor muscle coordination. This is why the State of New Jersey has ramped up its effort to enforce lead laws amongst landlords.
Lead-based paint is usually not a hazard if it is in good condition, and the paint is not on an impact or friction surface, such as a window. Deteriorating lead-based paint (peeling, chipping, chalking, cracking, or damaged paint) is a hazard and needs attention. Lead dust can form when lead-based paint is scraped, sanded, or heated. Dust also forms when painted surfaces bump or rub together. Lead chips and dust can reside on surfaces and objects that people touch.
Under this new law municipalities are to perform or hire a certified lead evaluation contractor to perform inspections of certain single-family, two-family, and multiple rental dwellings for lead-based paint hazards every three years or upon tenant turnover where there is no valid lead-safe certification. As an alternative, municipalities must permit dwelling owners/landlords to directly hire a certified lead evaluation contractor for this purpose.
If lead-based paint hazards are identified, then the owner of the dwelling shall remediate the hazards through abatement or lead-based paint hazard control mechanisms.
When the inspection passes a lead safe certificate will be issued and valid for 2 years, and a re-inspection will be scheduled for three years out. However the unit will be inspected sooner upon tenant turn over.
Units built after 1978 are exempt from testing. Additionally short term rentals occupied for less than six months are also exempt.
For more information on the new law go to:https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/codes/resources/leadpaint.html