Maryland’s Lead Law
Maryland State Law requires owners of properties containing lead-based paint to register their properties with the State; to provide notifications to tenants; to perform periodic testing; and, if necessary, to abate defective paint. When the law was enacted, it applied only to properties built prior to 1950. However, the law was amended to apply to properties before 1978; that change became effective January 1, 2015. That affects a lot of properties particularly housing in Baltimore County and Baltimore City which has some of the oldest housing in the State. The State has already sent 87,000 notices to property owners in Maryland this year for a failure to register their properties and obtain a lead certificate, see article here. The penalty for failing to register is $90, three times the annual filing fee. This does not include civil penalties and tenant law suits that could lead to thousand of dollars.
Registration and Requirements
Under this Maryland State law, property owners are required to:
a. address all potential lead-based paint hazards in rental properties constructed prior to 1978 and obtain a lead certificate from a certified lead inspector,
b. register and annually renew registration of their properties with the Maryland Department of the Environment’s (MDE) Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, and
c. provide tenants with the “Notice of Tenant Rights,” prepared by the MDE, the Federal pamphlet “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home,” and a copy of the lead inspection certificate for the unit on or before the day the tenant moves in.
A passing lead certificate is required before registering your property for rental. To obtain a passing lead certificate your investment property must be inspected by a Maryland certified lead inspector. The cost for this service can range from $200-$500 depending on the property and type of inspection. If lead abatement or removal is required costs will vary based on the property.
There are two (2) type of inspections: a lead swipe test, and a lead-free inspection (XRF analysis).
With a lead swipe test, the inspector will perform dust swipes in all rooms and send the samples off to the lab for testing. For lead swipe tests, registration and inspections must be renewed every two years.
For a lead-free inspection, the inspector will use an x-ray fluorescence (XRF) gun to test the entire property for any trace of lead. A successful lead-free inspection provides immediate feedback, and if the property comes back lead-free, renewals are not longer required.
This is one of the hassles that Real Property Management Reliable Solutions will handle for our clients. For more information contact us at (443) 990-0011 and visit our website.