Disclosing lead hazards in real estate transactions

Ohio residents who have experienced the home buying or selling process know that a mountain of paperwork is necessary. One document included in this paperwork is the Residential Property Disclosure Form. State regulations require this form whether participants in a real estate deal use a realtor or chooses to complete the process themselves.

The purpose of the property disclosure form

Property disclosure forms inform buyers of potential problems with the properties they consider for purchase. Potential problems detailed on a disclosure document could include electrical system malfunctions, leaks in the roof, and pest infestations. Sellers of residential property who wish to avoid real estate litigation must prepare this document and deliver it to buyers with whom they negotiate.

Lead Hazards

It is not uncommon to find lead-based paints in older homes. When this paint deteriorates or chips, lead dust can form. This dust represents a health hazard to both residents and visitors to the house.

Federal law protects homebuyers from lead hazards by requiring the delivery of an information pamphlet discussing lead-based paint protections before a sale of any home constructed before 1978. The title of the EPA-approved pamphlet is “Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home”. Sellers must also disclose any information they have regarding the use of lead-based paints for the structure in question.

The seller must also include a “Lead Warning Statement” along with the purchase contract that confirms the disclosure of required information related to lead paint. Buyers also enjoy ten days to assess lead paint risks before a sale becomes final. Buyers and sellers can agree to shorten or lengthen the risk assessment period as they see fit.

Real estate transactions are complex legal processes that can become difficult for the novice to navigate. A real estate attorney is likely to prove useful to an individual involved on either side of a transaction.