Massachusetts homes tend to be older than those of the rest of the nation, meaning they’re increasingly likely to harbor hazardous materials in their walls, especially lead. As we know, lead particles from paint can pose serious health risks to a property’s inhabitants. As a result, Massachusetts has many rules and regulations in place regarding real estate transactions involving lead paint. To determine what to expect and consider when purchasing a new home, we’ve created a Massachusetts home buyer’s guide to lead paint.
What the Lead Disclosure Obligations of a Massachusetts Home Seller?
As part of the Massachusetts Lead Poisoning Prevention Act, property owners are required to perform a lead inspection and – if uncovered – lead remediation in homes built before 1978. If any lead is discovered, the seller must complete a Property Transfer Lead Paint Notification Certification form, which is an opportunity for the owner to tell the buyer what they know about the lead within the home. Even if lead is not discovered in the home, the seller will need to indicate that they have no knowledge of its presence on the form.
Can a Seller Favor an Offer Waiving A Lead Paint Inspection?
If the home was built after 1978, the buyer becomes partially responsible for requesting a lead inspection. Before becoming obligated to purchase the property under contract, the buyer is granted a 10-day window in which they can arrange for a lead inspection and risk assessment. The seller is not obligated to pay for this inspection, but it could alter the contract depending on the findings. However, according to Massachusetts lead law, a seller cannot advertise a property as only available to buyers willing to waive an inspection.
What If a Home has Undergone a Complete Remodel?
If a home was built before 1978 but had undergone a gut rehab, the seller is still required to submit a lead paint form. Even if a home has been completely remodeled, from the ceiling to the floor, there can still be the presence of dangerous lead particles. A child could still be at risk of lead poisoning, despite the renovations.
Most of what accounts for our Massachusetts home buyer’s guide to lead paint is the commitment of sellers to follow the law. However, it’s important as a home buyer to ensure that your prospective new home receives the appropriate inspection and remediation. At Fiber Control, Inc., we’re fully committed to the safety of our customers and have the experience and RRP certification necessary to remediate or remove lead paint, along with many other hazardous materials. If you wish for your home to be free of dangerous substances, contact us today.