Until recently, only rental units built before 1950 were required to be inspected and register with the Maryland Department of the Environment. However, motivated by growing evidence that remaining lead paint in houses built after 1950 was still causing new cases of childhood lead poisoning, the state passed a new law in 2012 that requires all rental properties built before 1978 to undergo the lead inspection and registration process. The deadline for registration is January 1, 2015, meaning that if you are the owner of a rental property that was constructed before 1978, you have about a month and a half to get it registered with the MDE.
Environmental Protection Agency statistics suggest that around 24% of homes built between 1960 and 1978 contain lead paint, and those built between 1950 and 1960 have an 80% chance of containing the poisonous substance, according to a 2011 study by the MDE. Lead poisoning in children has been reduced by 98% in Maryland since the passage of the 1994 Lead Risk Reduction Act, which required rental properties built before 1950 to be registered, but over the past year, the decrease in cases has stagnated, likely due to the presence of lead paint in homes built after 1950. The MDE emphasizes that "childhood lead poisoning is a completely preventable disease", and the new law hopes to close the gap by eliminating all extant lead paint in rental units in Maryland. More than 250,000 units are expected to be registered under the law.
The only properties that are exempt from registration are those that have been issued a Lead Free or Limited Lead Free Certification by an accredited inspector. If you own a rental unit built before 1978, contact Alban Inspections today to schedule a lead paint inspection. We are qualified to provide a Lead Free Certification if your property meets state standards.