Part of your responsibility, as a landlord and property owner in Energy Corridor, is to make sure that your rental property is safe and habitable. For most property owners, this entails doing regular repairs and maintenance. If your rental house was built before 1978, it would be best to consider adding certain things to your property maintenance list. A handful of older homes had lead-based paint in the inner walls and ceilings. Lead-based paint can be hazardous, which is why landlords should be concerned about reducing lead-based paint exposure to their tenants. The next paragraphs are going to talk about the hidden hazards of lead-based paint in the rental home. It will also provide insight into how property owners can help their tenants avoid exposure.
The Hidden Dangers of Lead Paint
Lead-based paint was the typical material utilized in buildings made before 1978. If your walls have lead paint- unless the paint is disturbed, chips, or crumbles into dust- it’s not necessarily dangerous. Lead paint, as it ages, becomes toxic to people (especially children) if they come into contact with it. Usually, this is seen around windows and window sills, railings, banisters, porches, doors, and door frames. People consuming lead paint flakes or inhaling the dust can experience a rise in a host of health problems. Some of these include headaches, body aches, digestive issues, memory loss, and even kidney damage. Lead paint is especially harmful to children. Learning disabilities, hearing problems, nerve damage, and bone marrow issues are some of the conditions lead paint causes in children. There can be damaging and lifelong effects on health for individuals who are unfortunate enough to find themselves exposed to lead-based paint.
As a landlord, the health and safety of your tenants should be the first priority. The risks of lead paint surpass that as well. In most states, if you are aware that you are renting a property with lead-based paint and do not tell your tenants about it, you could be liable for any associated expenses of treatment and other damages, such as pain and suffering. Because of this, it is essential to know without a doubt whether your rental property has lead-based paint, inside or out, and take the necessary steps from there.
If you are not certain if your rental has lead-based paint or not, you should first have it tested and inspected. Depending on the age of the property and location, it may not be sufficient to rely on the information given to you when you bought the property. Then, if lead is identified, you may be legally required to inform your tenants and provide them with data about lead-based paint and the dangers of exposure.
Avoiding Tenant Exposure
An excellent way to get rid of any chance of exposure is to have the lead paint fully removed. This remedy, while costly, is the most permanent long-term solution to the problem. Do not try to remove lead-based paint yourself; this is a task better left to the professionals.
If removal and replacement are not viable solutions, you could encapsulate or enclose your rental’s surfaces to deter any contact with the lead paint. Encapsulation, which is commonly the more affordable option of the two, is a process where a special coating is placed over the lead paint, producing a watertight seal. Enclosure, on the other hand, involves covering the old surface with a new one. It’s the same as putting up new drywall over an existing one or covering window sills with cladding. While the two options may work temporarily, if the coating ever fades or the enclosed surface is removed, the risk of being exposed is very great. You may also still need to inform your tenant about disclosures regarding the lead paint, depending on the laws in your area.
Owning rental properties can come with a couple of unexpected challenges. And we, here at Real Property Management Affiliates, understand that. When obstacles do arise, you need the experience and resources of Energy Corridor property management experts to aid you through. To learn more, contact us online.
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