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The city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, passed a law in 2012 that was designed to help protect children from being poisoned by lead paint.  Tenants and landlords both have responsibilities to follow as stated by the law.

Lead Safe Certificate-Lead Free Certificate

All landlords must have rental properties which were built before 1978 inspected by a lead certified inspection company, such as Bayhill Environmental. The inspectors will use special equipment to read lead levels in the home to determine of the environment is lead-free, lead-safe, or unsafe due to the presence of active lead dust.  If no lead content is found, the property will be certified as lead-free.  If lead is discovered, the home will be tested with treated wipes which collect dust. The wipe are sent immediately to a lab which analyses the contents of the dust. If lead dust is found on the wipes, the lead must be abated and retested if the unit is to acquire lead-safe or lead-free status.

Once the property is declared lead safe, the landlord must provide tenants with the certificate and supporting documentation, have it signed and file the papers with the Philadelphia Department of Health.  They must also provide the tenants with pamphlets from the city about the law and a written advisory about what the tenant needs to do while living in the home, such as visually inspecting all painted surfaces and informing the landlord of any damages.

Other Landlord Responsibilities Regarding Philadelphia’s Lead Paint Testing Laws

Landlords must ensure that the property is sanitary, safe and fit to live in.  All defects that could affect the health of tenants must be repaired before they move in and when/if the tenants find any damage while they are living in the home.

The landlord must follow the EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule to protect the tenants from dangerous lead paint dust.  This rule applies to any property that was built before 1978, has children under the age of 6 in it, or when fixing the damage will disturb more than 6 square feet of painted surface inside the home or 20 square feet outside.

If the landlord will be doing the work, or uses his/her own employees, they must be an EPA Certified RRP Firm and only use workers who have been trained and are certified to do the work.  Any landlord who hires a contractor to do the work must make sure the contractor is certified.