Lead-Based Paint Inspections

The Lead-Based Paint Inspection Law (P.L.2021, C.182)
2021, c. 182 requires lead-based paint hazard inspections in certain rental dwelling units at specific time periods set forth in the statute, depending on tenant turnover, building location, and type.

All rental dwelling units required to be inspected pursuant to P.L.2021, c.182 must be inspected for lead-based paint within two years of the effective date of the law, July 22, 2022, or upon tenant turnover, whichever is earlier. The first inspection must take place no later than July 22, 2024.

Pricing is as follows


What dwellings are required to be inspected and what dwellings are exempt?

All single-family, two-family, and multiple rental dwellings must be inspected, with the exception of the following dwellings, which are exempt:

  • Dwellings that were constructed during or after 1978.
  • Single-family and two-family seasonal rental dwellings which are rented for less than six-months duration each year by tenants that do not have consecutive lease renewals.
  • Dwellings that have been certified to be free of lead-based paint pursuant to
    N.J.A.C. 5:17-3.16(b).
  • Multiple rental dwellings that have been registered with the Department of Community Affairs for at least ten years and have no outstanding lead violations from the most recent cyclical inspection performed on the multiple dwelling under the “Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law” (N.J.S.A. 55:13A-1).
  • This means that all multiple dwellings constructed prior to 1978 and registered with the Department for at least ten years that have a certificate of inspection issued by the Department of Community Affairs, Bureau of Housing Inspection, are exempt from this requirement.
  • A multiple dwelling that has been registered with the Department for at least ten years with an open inspection that has no violations for paint is also exempt from this requirement.
  • Dwellings with a valid lead-safe certificate issued pursuant to this law, P.L.2021, c.182. Lead-safe certificates are valid for two years from the date of issuance.
What is lead and its associated hazards?

Lead is a toxic, naturally occurring element and heavy metal in our environment that was widely used in commercial products such as gasoline, paint, cosmetics, spices, and pottery. Lead exposure in children can cause nervous system and kidney damage, as well as learning disabilities, attention-deficit disorder, and decreased intelligence. It can also cause behavior, speech, and language problems, hearing damage, decreased muscle and bone growth, and poor muscle coordination.

How does one identify lead-based paint hazards?

Lead-based paint is usually not a hazard if it is in good condition, and the paint is not on an impact or friction surface, such as a window. Deteriorating lead-based paint (peeling, chipping, chalking, cracking, or damaged paint) is a hazard and needs attention. Lead dust can form when lead-based paint is scraped, sanded, or heated. Dust also forms when painted surfaces bump or rub together. Lead chips and dust can reside on surfaces and objects that people touch.

What are the requirements of property owners under P.L. 2021, c. 182?

If lead-based paint hazards are identified, then the owner of the dwelling shall remediate the hazards through abatement or lead-based paint hazard control mechanisms. Property owners must also report all tenant turnover activity to the

municipality. Lastly, property owners must provide a copy of N.J.A.C. 5:28A, any lead-safe certifications, and the accompanying guidance document, Lead-Based Paint in Rental Dwellings, to any prospective owners of the dwelling during the real estate transaction, settlement, or closing.

What is a visual assessment?

A visual assessment is an examination of all painted building components for deteriorated paint or visible surface dust, debris, or residue. The inspector should also look for paint chips or dust from painting activities that were not cleaned up and paint residue on floors.

What are dust wipe samplings?

Dust wipe sampling is collected by wiping a representative surface, including floors (both carpeted and uncarpeted), interior windowsills, and other similar surfaces,

and testing in accordance with a method approved by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These samples must be undertaken properly to ensure that results are accurate.

What does interim controls mean?

Interim controls are a set of measures designed to reduce temporarily human exposure or likely exposure to lead-based paint hazards, including specialized cleaning, repairs, maintenance, painting, temporary containment, ongoing monitoring of lead-based paint hazards or potential hazards.

What does abatement mean?

Lead abatement is a set of measures designed to permanently eliminate lead-based paint hazards.

What happens if no lead-based paint hazards are found?

If it is determined upon inspection that no lead-based paint hazards exist in a dwelling, the lead evaluation contractor or local enforcing agency shall certify the dwelling unit as lead-safe. The lead-safe certification is valid for a period of two years.

If, during the certification period, a lead evaluation contractor, lead inspector, risk assessor, a local health department, or a public agency conducts an independent inspection or risk assessment and determines that there is a lead-based paint hazard, the lead-safe certification issued is invalid, and the independent inspector or risk assessor shall inform the municipality of the results of the inspection.

Lead-based paint hazards are found. What do I do now?

If lead-based paint hazards are found during an inspection, the owner of the dwelling unit must remediate the lead-based paint hazard by using lead-based paint hazard control methods (interim controls) or abatement. Colloquially, remediation is often used synonymously with interim controls and does not include abatement; however, in the context of P.L.2021, c.182, encompasses both interim controls and abatement.
If deteriorated paint is found during the course of a visual assessment, the owner of a dwelling may elect to order a dust wipe inspection to confirm the presence of lead- based paint.

If the dwelling owner has not cured the violation within 30 days, the owner shall be subject to a penalty not to exceed $1,000 per week until the required inspection has been conducted or remediation efforts have been initiated. Remediation efforts are considered initiated when the owner has hired a lead abatement contractor or other qualified party to perform lead-hazard control methods.

To learn more about Lead-Based Paint Inspections in Rental Dwelling Units CLICK HERE.