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Bill S-829 Requires Lead Disclosure in New Jersey

Jan 20, 2022 11:34:00 AM / by David C Sulock

New Jersey has joined other states in taking a more proactive approach to managing lead.  A three prong bill has been passed to help reduce lead exposure.

Bill S-829  signed 11/08/2021

This bill requires property condition disclosure statements to include a question concerning the presence of lead plumbing in residential properties. Under current law, a real estate broker, broker-salesperson, or salesperson is exempt from punitive damages and other penalties under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, P.L.1960, c.39 (C.56:8-1 et seq.) when communicating the condition of a residential property if the broker, broker-salesperson, or salesperson relied on information provided in a property condition disclosure statement. The property condition disclosure statement is the form provided by the seller of residential property to the real estate broker, broker-salesperson, or salesperson in order to disclose certain information prior to the sale of the property. The bill provides that in addition to any other question that the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety may require to be included, the property condition disclosure statement is required to include a question that specifically concerns whether the seller is aware of the presence of lead plumbing in the residential property. A real estate broker, broker-salesperson, or salesperson who communicates the condition of a residential property to a prospective buyer without obtaining this information from the seller could be liable for providing false, misleading, or deceptive information.
How does Bill S-829 affect real estate transactions?

The property condition disclosure statement will now include a question concerning the presence of lead plumbing in a property being sold.  The question relates to the home seller’s awareness about the presence of lead plumbing and lead service lines onto the property.   This is meant to act as a step in education of home buyers regarding lead. 

How does Bill A5343 affect  Public Water Supply Lines?

The goal is to remove lead from drinking water. As part of a three-bill package signed by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Bill A5343 that water companies in New Jersey will replace all  lead water pipes within the next 10 years. The bill is meant to   comprehensively address the longstanding health hazard of lead in the water supply system.  Water companies will be allowed  to raise rates on property owners to pay for the pipe replacements.  Although monies could be drawn from President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan, which  explicitly calls for removing lead pipes nationwide. 

*It is estimated at least 20 percent of lead exposure towards humans comes from drinking water, with formula-fed infants possibly receiving 40 to 60 percent of lead exposure from the same source.
 Bill (S1147) passed November 2021

Bill (S1147) takes aim at lead paint and dust, the most common sources of exposure, by creating a new requirement that any rental property in New Jersey built before 1978 be inspected for lead. This closes a loophole in the state’s existing lead testing regulations, which allowed single-family and two-family rental units to go without inspection.

The law also requires that if lead is found, affected tenants are eligible to be moved into lead-safe housing with financial help from the state Department of Community Affairs

 The law  expands inspection requirements, requiring lead remediation, and creating a lead paint hazard education program. (A1372/S1147)

Will All Rental Properties be Subject to the Regulations?

Currently many properties will qualify for exemption. The regulations will NOT apply to:

  1. Buildings, dwelling units, or common areas that have been certified to be Lead-Free in accordance with N.J.A.C. 5:17; or
  2. A building or dwelling unit that has been certified as having a Lead-Free
    Interior in accordance with N.J.A.C. 5:17. Lead-Free Interior does not
    exempt the entire building; only the dwelling units or common areas
    identified on the certificate as lead free are exempt.
  3. A seasonal rental unit that is rented for less than six months’ duration each
    year; or
  4.  An owner-occupied unit.
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David C Sulock

Written by David C Sulock

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