Arlington, MA asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts

Q: Is it required in MA to test and de-lead an old property (1800s) before renting it out?

We have a property (1800s) that we want to rent out. However, the presence/absence of lead is unknown. As landlords, are we required to test the presence of lead (and de-lead if found) before we rent it out? Can we have the tenants sign an agreement that it has been informed to them that it is possible the house might have lead paint in it?

1 Lawyer Answer
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
  • Boston, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: You are required to test for the presence of lead before you rent. You do not necessarily have to de-lead the property before renting, there are other ways to deal with lead paint. You cannot require tenants sign an agreement stating they accept the presence of lead on the property. This is a good summary of the landlord's responsibilities in Massachusetts:

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