A landlord must to give a tenant any information the landlord has about the presence of lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards in the home, but, the landlord is not required to investigate whether there is lead present, unless that lead presents a hazard to the tenant.
Federal law requires landlords, before signing a lease for a house or apartment built before 1978, to give the tenant:
- An EPA-approved information pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards, Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home (PDF);
- Any information the landlord has about the presence of lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards in the home.; and
- An attachment to the contract, or language inserted in the contract, that includes a "Lead Warning Statement" and confirms that the landlord has complied with all notification requirements.
Ohio law requires a landlord to address lead hazards and comply with lead abatement orders when they are issued, as part of their duty to maintain the property in good repair. They also must use lead-safe practices when making repairs or remodeling at properties where tenants live.
Local ordinances in some cities also address lead. For example, a Cleveland city ordinance requires that landlords pay for private inspections and get lead-safe certificates for their occupied rental units and give additional disclosures to tenants about whether a home has an identified lead hazard. The ordinance declares lead hazards a public nuisance and the Commissioner of Health may order the landlord to abate, or clean up, the nuisance.
If a home has a lead hazard, tenants should seek legal assistance. A tenant may sue a landlord if the landlord doesn’t provide the required information.