The New Jersey Lead Safe law went into effect on July 22, 2022, and affects ALL pre-1978 rental properties. The law is being called the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Law and affects all single-family, two-family, and multiple-rental dwellings.
Did you know that 30% of properties are failing the lead inspections because the owner is not aware of what the lead inspection entails? The Lead Risk Assessment accounts for 100% of properties and is a visual inspection for lead paint in the dwelling interior, which includes common areas, basements, and foyers.
The Lead Safe Inspection is looking for paint that is not in good condition, and that the paint is not on an impact or friction surface, such as a window. Because most all rentals never had to go through a lead paint inspection, properties fail.
What fails a lead-safe inspection is deteriorating lead-based paint?
- damaged paint
At Curren, we have "The Talk" with every landlord, realtor, and property manager about where we look and what are common lead paint fail areas. If the lead inspection fails as per the law, Curren lets our clients know. 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. If one of our lead inspectors finds deteriorated paint, the owner must repair the damage, and a reinspection must occur. So wouldn't it be smart that if the paint needs to be fixed you should fix it before we inspect?
What to do to get ready for compliance? Call Curren Environmental, we have been consulting on environmental issues in real estate since the 1990s. 888-301-1050
Example: See the radiator below, it failed the inspection, although we spent 40 minutes discussing the inspection process with the owner and the realtor.
This property failed as well. We actually saw paint chips on the floor.
Painted surfaces that rub, can damage the paint and release lead dust, which is a failure. In the photo below you can imagine the door rubs, to the extent paint is chipping off.
As per The NJ Lead Law: 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.
What does the lead law mean to property owners?
Your rental unit must be clean and all paint intact and conditions present that will not cause the paint to become damaged. As the photo above shows, doors that rub would be a fail.The law also means you as a landlord must be diligent in maintaining your rental units, even more so than in the past. Yes it is a pain and you may consider it nitpicky, but that is the law in NJ. We had many property owners sell before the law went into effect.
What are the requirements of municipalities under P.L. 2021, c. 182?
The law also allows the owner to hire their own professional.
If you offer laundry and it's in the basement and you have walls or built-in cabinets, a permanent fixture, like the one in the photo below, you would fail the inspection.
When do you have to comply with the NJ Lead Safe Law?
This new lead law is being referred to as, New Jersey’s Lead Safe Certification and requires lead-paint inspections, and visual and/or dust wipes on all nonexempt rental properties at tenant turnover or before July 22, 2024. This means 1st inspection must be completed by July 22, 2024. The inspections are perpetual. A lead-safe certificate is good for two (2) years but can last as long as three (3) years before a reinspection is needed if the tenant remains in the unit from the 1st 2 years of issuance of the lead-safe certificate.
What are the documentation requirement of landlords?
As per the law, the documentation and notification requirements are the responsibility of the landlord. As an owner/landlord you must:
Maintain and provide copies of all Lead Safe Certifications (per unit) and leases to the DCA inspector during their five (5) year multiple dwelling inspection.
The lead-safe certification or a reference to the certification is supposed to be attached to the tenant's lease. We think it is safest to provide a copy of the cert to the lease and if the lease is already executed provide another copy with the lead safe certification attached, it's cleaner and safer.
Curren Environmental has been environmental consulting since the 1990s, if you have questions feel free to contact one of our professionals:
What to do to get ready for compliance? Call Curren Environmental, we have been consulting on environmental issues in real estate since the 1990s.
Do you think your property is exempt from lead inspections? The property must meet the following criteria:
- The property has been certified to be free of lead-based paint,
- The property was originally constructed during or after 1978,
- The rental unit is in a multiple dwelling that has been registered with the DCA as a multiple dwelling for at least 10 years either under the current or a previous owner and has no outstanding lead violations from the most recent cyclical inspection performed on the multiple dwelling under the “Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law,”
- Is a single-family or two-family seasonal rental dwelling that is rented for less than 6 months duration each year by tenants that do not have consecutive lease renewals; VRBO rentals fit this definition as long as the lease is shorter than 6 months per rental.
- Dwellings that have been certified to be free of lead-based paint under N.J.A.C. 5:17-3.6(b).
- The unit is owner-occupied.
- Call or office 888-301-1050
If you have not tested for lead-based paint and the property is pre-1978 original construction, the law states you must assume it is lead-based paint.