The Philadelphia Lead Paint Disclosure and Certification Law

Preventing childhood lead poisoning is an important mission for many cities in the United States, and Philadelphia is no exception. Childhood lead poisoning prevention starts with a lead safe home. That is why Philadelphia and other cities make it the landlord's responsibility to ensure that a home is safe for a child to live in, and liable for any harm that may come to a child as a result of a landlord failing to care for a home.

Philadelphia's law, the Lead Paint Disclosure and Certification Law, went into effect December 21, 2012, and requires that landlords certify that a home is lead safe for a child under the age of six to live in, before that child moves in. The law applies to homes built before 1978, when the use of lead based paint in residences was banned in the United States. Lead safe certification means the landlord did a visual inspection of the home to ensure there is no chipping, peeling, or defective paint in the home, and tested samples of dust in the home to assess any potential lead dust hazard. A landlord is required to do these assessments every time a new tenant with a child under the age of six moves into the home, and every two years while a child under the age of six continues to reside in the home. In addition, a landlord must promptly repair or remove any chipping, peeling, or defective paint reported by a tenant, or risk losing certification.

The certification process is important, because preventing children from being exposed to chipping, peeling, and defective lead based paint and lead dust in the home is the best way to prevent childhood lead poisoning. Landlords who rent a home to a family with a child under the age of six and fail to certify that the home is lead safe risk losing their rental license and may face other penalties. More importantly, a landlord who fails in their duty to certify can be held liable for any lead poisoning that comes to the child residing in the home.

What You Can Do

  • If you have a child under the age of six and live in a rental home built before 1978, make sure that your landlord is in compliance with the law and the home is lead safe certified.
  • Check your home for chipping and peeling paint, and tell your landlord promptly so he or she can make the necessary repairs.
  • Ask your child's doctor to do a blood lead test to ensure your child does not have lead poisoning.

If your child has elevated blood lead levels, contact our experienced lead poisoning attorneys immediately. Your child may be entitled to get the financial compensation and resources he or she needs to overcome the serious learning and behavioral problems lead poisoning can cause. Just fill out the website form on this page or call 1-800-659-5349, to get help for your child today.

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