New NJ Lead Paint Law For Rentals
Q: I have a rental apartment. I heard there is a new lead paint law for rentals. Is that true? Jack, Hackensack, NJ
A: Lead is a toxic, naturally occurring element and heavy metal in our environment that was widely used in commercial products such as gasoline, paint, cosmetics, spices, and pottery. Lead exposure in children can cause nervous system and kidney damage, learning disabilities, hearing damage, attention-deficit disorder, decreased intelligence and problems with speech and language problems.
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. Lead dust can form when lead-based paint is scraped, sanded, or heated.
The lead paint law which you can find on the NJ Department of Community Affairs (DCA) website, imposes an obligation on municipalities 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. If lead-based paint hazards are identified, then the owner of the dwelling must remediate the situation.
All rental dwelling units required to be inspected must be inspected for lead-based paint within two years of the effective date of the law, July 22, 2022, or upon tenant turnover, whichever is earlier. This means that the first inspection must take place no later than July 22, 2024.
After the initial inspection, all units must be inspected for lead-based paint hazards every three years, or when a new tenant moves in, whichever is earlier. An inspection upon tenant turnover is not required if the owner has a valid lead-safe certificate. Lead-safe certificates are valid for two years. If the lead-safe certificate has expired, and there will be a tenant turnover, an inspection will be necessary before the three-year inspection. Thanks for your question, Jack.
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