Learn about Massachusetts Lead Law

Hundreds of young children are poisoned by lead paint in Massachusetts each year. The Lead Law protects a child’s right to a lead-safe home.

What does the Lead Law require?

The Lead Law requires the removal or covering of lead paint hazards in homes built before 1978 where any children under 6 live.

Lead paint hazards include loose lead paint, lead paint on windows and friction surfaces, and other surfaces accessible to children. Owners are responsible with complying with the law. This includes owners of rental property as well as owners living in their own single family home. Financial help is available through tax credits, grants and loans.

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How do I comply with the Lead Law?

  1. You must first hire a licensed lead inspector who will test the home for lead and record all lead hazards. Deleading work must be done by a trained and licensed person. A licensed lead inspector will reinspect, and if there are passes, you will receive a letter of full deleading compliance.
  2. You may choose to have only urgent lead hazards corrected, while controlling remaining hazards.
    • This temporary method is called Interim Control. You must first hire a licensed risk assessor who will explain what work needs to be done for interim control.
    • After a risk assessor approves the work, you will receive a Letter of Interim Control. You then have up to 2 years to remove lead hazards and receive a Letter of Full Compliance.

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Who can remove or cover lead hazards?

Some work must be done by a licensed deleader. But, an owner or agent can perform some specific tasks. An owner or agent cannot begin any of those tasks until:

  1. The home is inspected by a licensed lead inspector
  2. The owner or agent is trained and gets authorized to perform the deleading work

If you have any questions, call the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP). 

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Can I evict or refuse to rent to a family with children under six if there is lead paint in the home?

No. You cannot evict, or refuse to rent to anyone because of lead paint. Discrimination is against the law and carries penalties.

For more information against discrimination, call the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

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If I own a rental property, can I be held liable for a lead poisoned child?

Yes. If a child has lead poisoning from lead hazards where the child lives, you are legally responsible.

An owner cannot avoid liability by asking tenants to sign an agreement that they accept the presence of lead paint.

Complying with the Lead Law is the best protection you have from liability, and it protect children living in your home.

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