Landlord Tenant Q&A

Q. I recently heard about a new law for properties built before 1970 that requires an owner to use a special type of contractor to work on the property. My property was built in 1965 and needs to have the front door replaced due to old termite damage. Does this law apply to me?

A. There are a couple of different laws that you need to be aware of when you have a rental property that was built prior to 1978 (not 1970). The first is the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 which was enacted to protect families from exposure to lead based paint, dust, and soil. The owner of rental property is required to disclose any known information on lead-based paint and related hazards before the leasing of most housing built before 1978. In addition to giving the tenant this disclosure, they also have to provide a pamphlet entitled “Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home.” The disclosure must be attached to the lease and copies should be kept for a minimum of three years.

On April 22, 2010 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implemented its newest law relating to lead based paint in the home. The law was put into effect because common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children. To protect against these risks the EPA issued a rule requiring the use of lead-safe practices when working in homes built prior to 1978.

Under the new law, contractors performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. The law requires training and certification of remodelers, safe worksite practices, and record keeping.

These are the exceptions to the law: * A home or child occupied facility built after 1978. * Repairs that are minor, with interior work disturbing less than six square feet or exterior work disturbing less than 20 square feet. This does not include window replacement, demolition, or prohibited practices. * House or components that have been tested as lead free by a Certified Risk Assessor, Lead Inspector, or Certified Renovator.

The contractor is required to provide tenants with the “Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers, and Schools” brochure. For more information you can go to www.epa.gov/lead/ or call the National Lead Information Center at 800-424-LEAD (5323).

In the case of your property, if no sanding or altering of the door frame is taking place, it should be ok to remove the old door and replace it with a new one. If you are doing more substantial work, then you will want to make sure your contractor is aware of the age of the home and follows the guidelines.

Answers to questions in Landlord Tenant Q&A are provided by members of the Oahu Chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM), an organization that supports the professional and ethical practices of rental home management through networking, education, and certification. The Oahu Chapter, founded in 2004, has become the largest in the nation with 175 registered members. Disclaimer: The answers provided in this column by Realtors address individual cases and should not be construed as interpretations of the law. For specific information on Hawaii State Law, go to http:// hawaii.gov/dcca/areas/ocp/landlord_tenant or contact an attorney.

LURLINE R. JOHNSON (R), ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI, RMP
Property Manager
Property Profiles, Inc.
Past President, Oahu Chapter
National Association of Residential Property Managers

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