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Maryland's Lead Risk Reduction in Housing Act

Community Associations Update

Effective January 1, 2015, all residential rental properties constructed prior to 1978 must comply with the Maryland Lead Risk Reduction in Housing Act by paying a fee and registering with the Department of the Environment, having the rental property tested for the presence of lead prior to changes in tenancy, and distributing specific lead risk educational materials to their tenants. Previously, the Maryland Lead Risk Reduction in Housing Act only applied to those properties built prior to 1950. Given recent reports of childhood lead poisoning cases in homes built from 1950-1978, the law has been changed. Notably, this new law only affects landlords of residential properties and does not affect community associations, unless the community association owns a unit/property within the association and is renting out that unit/property. 

In order to comply with the law, a landlord is required to follow these procedures:

1.) Registration: Register all rental dwelling units within 30 days of acquisition with the Maryland Department of Environment. Furthermore, all dwelling units must be renewed on or before December 31 each year. Registration includes the payment of a $30.00 fee per rental unit.

2.) Distribution of Tenant Educational Information: All tenants must be provided with a “Notice of Tenants' Rights”, a “Protect your Family from Lead in Your Home” brochure and a copy of the current lead inspection certificate.

3.) Inspection: All rental properties must be inspected prior to every change in occupancy. Furthermore, if notified of paint defects in the property, or if a child under 6 years of age or a pregnant woman has a blood lead elevation of 10 micrograms per deciliter, the landlord is required to relocate the tenants to a property that is certified as lead free or temporarily relocate the tenants while work is performed and the tenants may move back into the property.

More information about Maryland’s Lead Risk Reduction in Housing Act can be found at: http://mde.maryland.gov.

Ruth Katz is a community associations attorney at Lerch, Early & Brewer in Bethesda, Maryland. She helps community association managers and boards with general condominium, homeowners association and cooperative issues like document interpretation and amendments, as well as with litigation, dispute resolution, covenant enforcement and delinquent assessment collections. She serves as a co-chair of CAI's Maryland Legislative Committee. For more information about this legislation, contact Ruth at (301) 657-0188 or rokatz@lerchearly.com.

This content is for your information only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Please consult your attorney before acting on any information contained here.

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