The Truth About Lead Based Paint Liability
By Kurt Real Estate Nov 23, 2019
If you’ve recently purchased or leased a property, you may have had to sign something called the Lead-Based Paint Addendum. Don’t worry, we won’t judge if you don’t remember signing it or don’t know what it even means. We’ll tell you. In California, if your home was built prior to 1978, there’s a chance the paint used on the walls or other areas of the home was lead-based. Of course, medical advancements overtime have identified the dangers of lead. Today, by law, if your house was constructed prior to 1978, the buyer or tenant of your home will need to sign a Lead-Based Paint Addendum stating that there is the possibility of exposure to lead based paint. Here, it is the seller’s responsibility to disclose if they have any knowledge of lead-based paint in the home. If you’re that seller, don’t hide the facts…it’s a crime.
However, there’s been recent buzz around the fact that you’re criminally liable if your home contains lead-based paint. We’re here to tell you that is NOT true. Here’s the facts. The paint industry spread a rumor that you can be held criminally liable for lead-based paint in your home. They lost in a court ruling regarding the use of this scare tactic. Because of this, the ruling requires that paint companies pay the cost of abating lead-based paint in 10 municipalities. The court did NOT order current homeowners or sellers to remediate any lead-based paint in their homes.
Now, paint companies are attempting to qualify an initiative on the November ballot to absolve themselves of liability by shifting the burden of lead-based paint remediation costs onto the backs of California taxpayers.
For more information on lead-based paint hazards and required disclosures visit cdph.ca.gov. For information on how to test for lead-based paint visit epa.gov.
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