to New Tenants: Inspections and Certificates
in Rhode Island, before most landlords can rent a vacant
apartment, they first must prove that the unit is reasonably
safe by getting a Rhode Island Lead Inspection and Lead
Certificate from a licensed lead inspector. Federal
and State laws require owners of pre-1978 rental property
to give information to give future tenants the Protect
Your Family pamphlet and to disclose what is known about
lead or lead hazards on the property.
Of course, anytime information is given that is required
by law, it is required to get a signature and a receipt,
so there is proof that you have done your duty and complied.
After discussing it with tenants, use the Lessor's Disclosure
Form to document that disclosure has been done. Keep
a copy on file for at least three years.
Rhode Island tenants have responsibilities, too. Under
state law, they are responsible for monitoring their
homes and reporting hazardous conditions, so long as
the property owner has clearly defined how the notification
process works. Property owners are responsible for making
repairs within 30 days of receiving a complaint.
We recommend that rental or lease agreements require
tenant complaints to be submitted in writing, using
the state-approved form called the Notice of Deteriorating
Condition. If a property owner provides a copy of this
form to the tenants when they move in, both tenantsí
and landlordsí responsibilities for keeping lead paint
safe during occupancy are clear.