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Information for Tenants (Renters)Lead exposure can come from a number of sources, including drinking water and the soil around your house or apartment building. But the most common sources of lead exposure in New Hampshire come from lead-based paint and dust found in houses and apartments built before 1978. Although lead poisoning can cause serious health problems, especially in children younger than six years old, it is preventable.

All tenants have a right to safe, healthy, and clean housing. Landlords are required to follow lead-safe work practices when repairing, renovating, or painting pre-1978 buildings. Tenants are responsible for both keeping their rental units clean and for working with their landlords to address potential lead hazards.

Lead poisoning can be prevented. Landlords and tenants can work together to reduce and eliminate exposure to lead dust and deteriorating lead paint.

What Tenants (Renters) Can Do

Keep your rental unit clean
Cleaning regularly will help you reduce your exposure to lead in paint, dust, and soil. Wipe your feet on a doormat or clean or remove shoes before entering your home to prevent tracking in soil that may contain lead.

Wet clean floors, stairs and “friction areas” weekly. Friction areas are certain vulnerable surfaces of your home that include windows, stair treads, and sometimes doors and door frames, when they bind. Paint in these areas can produce lead dust even if it is not peeling. Use a mop or sponge with warm water and a general all-purpose cleaner or a lead specific cleaning agent. Thoroughly rinse sponges and mop heads after cleaning dusty or dirty areas. Learn more lead-safe cleaning practices Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol.

Look for sources of lead in and around your rental unit
Lead can be found in many places in your home, such as in peeling and chipping lead paint, dust from lead paint, soil in your yard, tap water from lead pipes or lead solder, pottery, crystal, ceramic dishes, and toys.

Let your landlord know if you notice chipping or peeling paint in the interior of your home, or if you see damaged paint or bare soil on the property outside your home. Immediately wet clean any paint chips or dust.

Make sure your landlord hires licensed lead professionals
If renovation, repair, or painting will disturb six square feet or more of paint per room on the interior or 20 square feet or more of paint on the exterior of a pre-1978 residential property, the Federal Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule requires the work to be performed by a licensed Lead Hazard Control Firm. If work performed by your landlord will disturb the same amount of paint, he or she must also be licensed as a Lead Hazard Control Firm and Lead-Safe Remodeler/Renovator.

Receive educational materials and inspection reports from your landlord
Be sure to review educational materials and inspections reports from your landlord. Federal law requires landlords to provide an EPA-approved information pamphlet about identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards, any known information about the presence of lead-based paint hazards, and language in the lease indicating that the landlord has complied with the notification requirements. Learn more about the EPA’s requirements for landlords.

If your landlord does not provide you with the required information, or is not adequately addressing your concerns about lead hazards in the apartment, contact NH Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (HHLPPP) at 1-800-897-LEAD or LEADINFO@dhhs.nh.gov for assistance.

Resources for Tenants

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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
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