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Maryland Lead Paint Law: Baltimore Landlord Education

Lead paint laws are state-specific. Today, we’re talking about the laws that apply to any rental property in the state of Maryland.


Lead Based Paint Disclosure for Rental Property

Any property constructed before January 1, 1978, is required to have a lead certificate. Even if the property was gutted to the brick and rebuilt, you still need to have a lead certificate if the original structure was built before 1978.


Lead Paint Landlord Responsibility

There are four forms:

  • Lead Free
  • Full Risk
  • Modified Risk
  • Lead Safe

Modified Risk and Full Risk reduction are the most common lead tests and certificates. There’s a process behind them.


Property Management Baltimore, MD: Lead Certifications

Make sure your property is clean and ready for the lead inspector. The inspector will need access to the home, so provide keys and any alarm codes. The inspector will do dust wipes. They will take what looks like a baby wipe and run it over window sills and areas about three feet in front of the window. They’ll also do a visual inspection, looking for paint that is chipped, cracked, or peeling on the inside and outside of the property.

 You’ll get a preliminary report that says the property looks good, and the inspector will send the samples out to the lab. Most inspectors have a seven day turn around. Some offer expedited service if you need a tenant to move in right away. You can request quicker results for an expedited fee.


When to Have a New Lead Test Done

Your lead certificate is an official and important piece of paper. You’ll receive a tracking number as well as a certificate number. It’s only valid for as long as the tenant lives at your property. So, if the same tenant is in place for seven years, you can hold onto that certificate. But, if a tenant moves out after six months, you’ll need to get another lead certification when a new tenant moves in.


Choosing a Lead Test

The Lead Free and Lead Safe certifications are more in-depth. In these cases, an inspector must come to the property with an x-ray gun and take samples of various parts of the property. Inspectors will be looking for 10 micrograms of lead or less. If there is any more lead than that, you’ll need to encapsulate or replace the area that has a higher reading. That might mean replacing a door jamb or a window sill.

The cost is also higher than a Full Risk or Modified Risk certification. What you choose to do depends on your investment goals and how long you plan to keep the property. If you have any questions about Maryland lead laws, please contact us at

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