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  • Rob DeMalo

The City of Philadelphia Rental Property Lead Certification Law

Leading a charge in protecting young and old with lead remediation 

While the focus has been on COVID-19 and deterring its spread, many owners of rental properties may have missed the Rental Property Lead Certification Law which took effect October 1st of last year.  Lead, which may be found in homes, water, paint, furniture and yes, even toys, can have devastating effects for children and adults alike. So before detailing the rule and its importance, a look at the potential impacts is worthwhile:

Turning back to the new law… In short, the Rental Property Lead Certification Law states: Landlords with  residential rental properties in the City of Philadelphia will be required to test and certify each unit as lead-safe or lead-free in order to:

  1. execute a new or renewed lease

  2. receive or renew a rental license

There is a lot to the new rules, which applies to all housing built prior to 1978 and will be phased in zip code-by-zip code over the next two (2) years, but here are a few key points:

  • The new law is actually an expansion of one that has been in place for years, requiring such testing and certification for residential rentals with children under 6 years old.

  • Despite the geographic roll out, all rental properties with children 6 and under must continue to be tested and certified regardless of zip code.

  • The certification outlined in this law can only be done by an EPA certified lead dust sampling technician or a PA licensed lead inspector-risk assessor.

  • Certified lead-safe and lead free are not one and the same. The law defines each as follows: • Lead-safe certified: “1) determined the property is free of deteriorated, flaking, chipping, peeling, chalking or not-intact paint, and 2) interior dust samples were collected, tested, and found not to contain hazardous levels of lead-contaminated dust.” • Lead free certified: “the property does not have any lead-based paint based on EPA/HUD standards.”

The law goes on to outline specific remediation actions and proof of certification documentation.

At IEC, we have EPA Certified Lead Dust Sampling Technicians on staff to perform this work as well as answer questions regarding this new requirement.

Shining the spotlight on lead and its potential hazards with this new law is a positive step in protecting Philadelphia residents of all ages.

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