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Read this if you're buying a pre-1978 home

It's hard to believe, but any residential property built before 1978 will usually contain lead-based paint. Lead-based paints are dangerous to human health because the paint particles can create lead dust which easily enters the human system and causes a host of health problems.

Federal law demands that consumers be protected from lead. The Environmental Protection Agency enforces the Toxic Substances Control Act in addition to the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, which requires everyone who is renting or purchasing a lead-based residence to receive information relating to lead-based paint dangers. Also, property owners are required take specific action to minimize dangers associated with lead paints that could be present in the properties.

Those renting out properties older than 1978 to others have to give prospective tenants an EPA-approved information pamphlet regarding lead-based paint dangers before they sign their leasing contracts. Landlords must also give information about any known lead-based paints present on the property. Leasing contracts also have to include a "Lead Warning Statement."

Those selling properties older than 1978 to others have to make the same disclosures as landlords to prospective buyers before a sales contract is completed. A "Lead Warning Statement" must also be included in the real estate sales contract. However, real estate sellers have an even higher obligation of disclosure in this regard. Buyers must be provided 10 days within which to inspect a prospective home regarding lead dangers. Buyers can owners can, however, waive this right to inspect in a signed mutual agreement.

If you are considering the purchase or sale of a pre-1978 property in San Antonio, Texas, you might want to speak with a lawyer about how lead safety laws could affect your property and its future rental and sale. If you're considering the renovation of the property or the disposal of lead-containing paint from the home, you may also wish to consult with an attorney to learn about how to carry out these activities appropriately under the law.

Source: FindLaw, "Renting, Buying, or Renovating a Pre-1978 Home," accessed Dec. 23, 2016

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