More Rental Housing Subject To Maryland Lead Law Starting January 1, 2015

The following information was provided by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) on the pending expansion of Maryland’s lead laws to cover all rental housing built between 1950 and prior to 1978:

On January 1, 2015, Maryland’s lead laws will expand to help make childhood lead poisoning a thing of the past. Beginning in the New Year, the Law will require rental property owners with rental units built between 1950 and prior to 1978 to comply. The new Law builds on the Maryland 1994 Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing Act. Previously, the Act applied to rental housing built prior to 1950.  The federal prohibition of lead paint went into effect in 1978, and the original 1994 Act did not apply to any rental housing that was built between 1950 and 1978.

The original legislation has had incredible success, reducing the amount of childhood lead poisoning cases in Maryland by 98 percent. Today, however, a disproportionate amount of lead poisoning cases are among children who live in rental housing that were built in the period that was exempt from the regulations of the 1994 legislation.

As part of this expansion, MDE has begun accepting registration applications for rental properties built between 1950 and prior to 1978. As part of the registration application, rental property owners will pay an annual $30 fee per rental unit to register their property. Furthermore, rental owners will be subject to inspection requirements at every change in tenancy effective January 1, 2015.   This will require all properties subject to the Law to pass an inspection for lead contaminated dust, performed by an MDE accredited inspection contractor, prior to every change in occupancy.

Units that are certified Lead Free by an accredited Lead Paint Inspection Contractor approved by MDE are exempted from the annual registration fees and inspection requirements.  Any report submitted to MDE certifying a unit as Lead Free shall include a processing fee of $10 per unit.

More information on the new Law and general lead information for property owners, tenants and parents can be found on MDE’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Program webpage. For a full reading of the House Bill that expanded the 1994 Act, navigate to this page.