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What You Should Know About Lead Paint If You’re Buying or Selling a Home

If the home you’re buying or selling was built before 1978, chances are it contains lead paint. About three quarters of homes in the U.S. built before 1978 contain some lead-based paint. Lead paint can be found in all types of homes including single- family and multi-family homes. The older the house, the more likely it contains lead paint. The older the paint, the higher the lead content.If you have decided to de-lead your home, have a trained and authorized company do the work.

Even if the lead based paint is properly maintained it can pose a health risk especially for children under the age of 6.

In 1992, Congress passed a law requiring the disclosure of information on lead-based paint before the sale of homes built before 1978.

If You’re Selling a Home Built Before 1978

Sellers of homes built before 1978 must disclose known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before selling. Sellers are not required to test for lead paint, but they are required to allow home buyers a ten day period to conduct a test for lead paint.

Under Massachusetts and federal law, sellers and real estate agents must provide the Property Transfer Lead Paint Notification to a prospective buyer before signing a purchase and sale agreement. The seller, buyer, and real estate agent (if applicable) must sign the certification page of this Property Transfer Lead Paint Notification, which contains a checklist to ensure that the buyer has been fully notified of the requirements of the Lead Law.

Sellers must also give prospective buyers the EPA pamphlet, Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home. This pamphlet offers information on how to get your home checked for lead and how to reduce some of the risks of lead in the home.

Does a Seller Have to Remove Lead Paint?

No. This lead paint law does not require a seller to remove lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards discovered during an inspection.

What Kinds of Homes Are Affected by The Lead Paint Law?

  • Any home where a child under the age of 6 resides whether it is used as rental property or owner occupied must conform to all lead paint laws.

If You’re a Buyer of a Home That May Contain Lead

If a Buyer chooses to do a lead inspection the Buyer will have up to ten days to check for lead hazards if they chose to do an inspection. Lead paint covered by layers of nonleaded paint can still poison children, especially when it is disturbed, such as through normal wear and tear, or home repair work. When such lead paint is on moving surfaces, such as windows, fine lead dust is released through normal use.

Inspecting a Home for Lead Paint

If you are buying a home built prior to 1978 and you are concerned about lead paint you should have a lead inspection performed. A licensed lead inspector will test all coated surfaces inside of the home for lead and give the homeowner & buyer a written report that explains where there is lead.

If you have decided to de-lead your home, have a trained and authorized company do the work.

There is a list of de-leading contractors on the Massachusetts Labor and Workforce website, or you can call CLPPP at 800-532-9571 or visit their website at Currently there is a state income tax credit of up to $1,500 per unit for full de-leading.

The Lead Law ensures that buyers receive information on the home’s lead content and general information on lead exposure prevention. With this information, they can make more informed decisions when buying a home and how to protect their families from lead hazard exposure.

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