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Legal Tip – Lead Paint Safety

Question: You secured a listing that had a complete rehab/condo conversion that was an older three-family in which the seller informs you that every single floor, wall, and window have been replaced or redone. The seller has told you that the house is now de-leaded as a result of this work and would like you to promote it as such. Can you get into trouble by simply relaying this information to buyers?

Answer: Yes. If a seller cannot show you a valid de-leading certification for the unit, then you cannot assume it is lead-safe. According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program website, “Forty-seven percent of the housing stock in New York and Massachusetts was built before 1950. The older a housing unit, the more likely it will have been painted with lead paint. The older the paint, the higher the concentration of lead in the paint.”

While your client may have done significant rehab work on the unit, that does not mean that it, or the common areas accessing it, are lead-safe. Only an inspection can determine the lead status of the home.

Provided by MAR Legal Department