Vermont Tenants, Inc.
A TENANT Information Sheet
PRODUCED BY VERMONT TENANTS, INC./CVOEO
Download the free
What To Do About Lead-Based Paint
The law assumes that paint in houses built prior to 1978 is lead-based unless an inspector certified by the Vermont Department of Health determines otherwise.
Under the lead safety laws of Vermont, landlords must perform the following Essential Maintenance Practices (EMPs) to reduce lead-paint poisoning hazards:
- Attend a training program approved by the Vermont Department of Health to learn about their legal responsibilities, how to do EMPs, and how to safely stabilize deteriorating lead-based paint.
- Inspect all interior and exterior surfaces and fixtures.
- Safely stabilize or remove lead-based paint if more than one square foot of deteriorated lead-based paint is found on the interior of the apartment or on an exterior porch. This must be done within 30 days after the landlord sees the paint or is notified of the problem.
- Post a written notice notifying tenants of the importance of promptly reporting deteriorated paint.
- At a change of tenants, clean all the window wells and sills tenants have access to, and clean all horizontal surfaces except ceilings. This must be in a manner approved by the VT Dept. of Health, which at this time means using high-phosphate soap and HEPA vacuum cleaners.
- Clean all window wells and window sills annually if a child age 6 or under lives in the rental unit.
- Annually inspect the premises, and notify their insurers that the EMPs are completed.
- Give all current or potential tenants written information about lead paint poisoning hazards. Under federal regulations, the property owner must disclose any known lead paint poisoning hazards.
Landlords may not refuse to rent to tenants with children as a way to try to avoid their obligations because this would violate Vermont's anti-discrimination laws . If you think you have been discriminated against, contact the CVOEO Fair Housing Project at 651-0551 or the Vermont Human Rights Commission at 828-2480.
Tenants have no particular legal responsibilities with regard to lead safety. However, in the interest of protecting and promoting the health of their children, parents should:
- Have your children get a medical test for blood lead content.
- Frequently clean the rented property yourself with appropriate cleaning methods, products and devices whether the landlord is completing EMPs or not.
- Get more information. Call the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at the Vermont Department of Health: (802)865-7786, or The Vermont Lead Safety Project: (802) 453-5617.
What You Can Do If You're Worried About Lead in Your Home
Always contact the Vermont Department of Health for information. If you provide a written request, the Department will contact your landlord about doing the EMPs. The Department will also help you get the landlord to stabilize or remove lead-based paint within 30 days. (VTI has a form letter).
Exercise your legal options to treat this as a major code violation. Refer to the tenant Information Sheet describing what to do about major code violations. (VTI has this Information Sheet and specific form letters for addressing lead concerns).
If your child is severely poisoned (a blood lead level of 20 or more), contact a lawyer to explore your options.
***This document is intended to serve as a general guide to tenants and does not constitute a legal opinion or legal advice regarding any specific situation. It is intended to be read in conjunction with the tenant Information Sheet about major code violations.