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To disclose or not to disclose? There is no question

By: Sylvia Lacerda on in

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced a new rule that requires additional precautions be taken and additional disclosure when completing projects that disturb lead-based paint. The Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule applies to all pre-1978 homes and child-occupied facilities and is triggered by renovations performed for compensation and/or paint disturbances. Renovations that disrupt six square feet of painted surface for interior activities or 20 square feet for exterior qualify.

Beginning in December 2008, contractors or property owners must provide the Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers, and Schools pamphlet before completing renovation projects. Tenants must sign a pre-renovation disclosure form indicating they received the pamphlet. The Renovate Right pamphlet does not replace the Lead Hazard Disclosure in sales and leases. The Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home pamphlet, often referred to as the blue book, must still be given when selling and leasing property.

As of April 2010, anyone who disturbs paint must be a “certified renovation firm”, meaning they are certified by the state to properly complete the job, dispose of waste and document the project. Property managers may opt to become certified to facilitate quick responses to non-emergencies and ensure oversight of specialty contractors. But the added responsibilities and cost may prohibit this certification.

The impacts of the RRP rule are widespread. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) held a webinar highlighting how the RRP rule impacts property managers and has scheduled a webinar highlighting the impacts on real estate agents. According to NAR, 8.4 million renovations will be impacted by the RRP rule annually.

Radon is an invisible issue in some homes

Pennsylvania doesn’t require radon testing, but that’s the only way to know if a home has higher-than-recommended level of radon, according to Robert Lewis, radon division chief at the Bureau of Radiation Protection in the Department of Environmental Protection.

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