If you’re hoping to renovate rental property that you rent to families or to people providing childcare, it’s a good idea to see if the April 22, 2010 Renovation, Repair and Remodeling (RRP) rule applies to you. In order to prevent lead contamination of homes or property that you are renovating, certain procedures and cautions must be observed in older homes. This rule now requires that renovations to properties built before 1978 be conducted by a person or people who are certified in lead-safe work practices by a trainer accredited by the EPA.
If you’re renting housing to elderly or disabled people or “no-bedroom” housing – bachelor suites, studio apartments, dorms, etc. or any other housing where a child would not expected to be living, this may not apply to you. If you’re doing small repairs – defined by the EPA as disturbing “6 square feet or less of paint per room inside, or 20 square feet or less on the exterior of a home or building”, you are in the clear. As with most things involving renovations, it makes sense to check with a licensed professional to make sure.
Documentation is the key for the RRP rule. In order to make it clear that you are doing your best to abide by it, write down everything you do regarding your renovation and your compliance. The EPA has a sample record keeping checklist and more forms that are necessary at epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovation.htm.
If you find that your rental property and project does fall under the RRP rule’s jurisdiction, the first thing you should do is get a few copies of the “Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers, and Schools” and distribute them to all your tenants. It’s your duty to make sure that they are informed of what you plan to do and how you plan to go about complying with the RRP rule.
Your next step is to either hire contractors certified in lead-safe work practices or become so certified yourself if you are doing the work. Check the EPA.gov site for the necessary pamphlets and resources. Certification involves an application for firm certification and a fee paid to the EPA. You can also contact the EPA for information as to whether an individual or company is actually certified.
People renovating rental property need to be trained and certified and need records to prove that they have instructed any workers involved in the renovation in lead-safe practices. The EPA encourages interested parties to call 1-800-424-LEAD (5323) or visit the EPA.gov website for more information.