Homes Built Before 1978

Homes Built Before 1978

Buying Or Renting

Federal law requires that individuals receive certain information before renting or buying pre-1978 housing:

  • Landlords must disclose known or unknown information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before a lease take effect. Leases must include a disclosure form about lead-based paint. Occupants must also receive the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pamphlet "Protect Yourself and Your Family from Lead."
  • Sellers of pre-1978 residential housing have to disclose known or unknown information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before selling a house.
  • Sales contracts must include a disclosure form about lead-based paint. Buyers have up to 10 days to check for lead hazards.

Remodeling Or Renovating

Under federal law, property owners and contractors must provide lead information to residents before renovating a pre-1978 residential home.   Renovators must provide the U.S. EPA pamphlet "Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home."

Lead-based paint that is in good condition (intact) is not a hazard. Removing lead-based paint improperly can increase the danger to yourself and those around you.

Follow lead-safe remodeling and renovating methods as outlined in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Lead Based Paint Guide.


  • Open-flame burning, torching, or charring of lead-based paint
  • Machine sanding or grinding or abrasive blasting or sandblasting lead-based paint unless the machine is equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) exhaust control 99.97% or greater efficiency
  • Dry sanding lead-based paint
  • Dry scraping lead-based paint unless scraping is done around electrical outlets or when treating defective paint spots totaling no more than 2 square feet in any one room, hallway or stairwell, or totaling no more than 20 square feet on exterior surfaces
  • Use of a heat gun on lead-based paint above 1,100°F
  • Uncontained hydro-blasting or high-pressure washing of lead-based paint
  • Use of a paint stripper with methylene chloride

Lead abatement measures include:

  • Removal of lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust
  • Permanent enclosure or encapsulation of lead-based paint
  • Replacement of surfaces or fixtures painted with lead-based paint
  • Removal or permanent covering of lead-contaminated soil

Interim control measures are designed to temporarily reduce human exposure or likely human exposure to lead hazards and may include:

  • Specialized cleaning (vacuum with HEPA filter, wet washing)
  • Repairs, painting, temporary containment, ongoing lead maintenance activities
  • Establishment and operation of management and resident education programs