Lead paint certification information for rental properties in maryland

Lead paint certification information for rental properties in maryland

In Maryland, any property that was originally constructed on or before 1978 must be inspected for lead paint and have a lead-safe (Full risk reduction) or lead-free certification before a tenant takes occupancy.

Properties that are certified Full risk reduction must be registered with the MDE and renewed annually. Properties that are certified Lead-Free or Limited lead-free can opt out of the MDE registration

There are three types of Lead inspection and certifications.

XRF gun display


Lead-free is the most desirable certification. This means that there is no evidence of lead paint on the interior or exterior of the property, owners can opt out of the MDE registration, and the certification has no expiration date. This means you can move residents in and out without concerns about lead paint, and no additional lead paint work is required.



This second most desirable classification and means there is no evidence of lead paint on the property’s interior, but there is evidence of higher levels of lead paint on the exterior. With this certification, there can be no flaking, peeling, or chipping paint on the exterior, and an external inspection of the property is required every two years.

With a limited lead-free certificate, homeowners can still opt out of the annual MDE registration, and tenants can move in and out without concerns about lead paint in the interior of the property.

Both of these inspections use an XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence) tool to see if lead-based paint is present.

XRF gun

XRF gun


This certification is also known as dust swipe or lead-safe inspection. Initially, a visual inspection of the property is completed to check for any defective paint on the interior, exterior, and basement of the property (there can be no flaking, peeling or chipped paint on the interior, exterior or basement).

Once any required paintwork has been addressed, dust swipes are taken from every room (generally from the window sills and floors) and analyzed for any lead paint dust. The EPA’s clearance levels of lead in the dust are 10 micrograms per sqft for floor dust and 100 micrograms per sqft for window sill dust.

In addition to attaining a Full risk reduction certificate, the following actions must also be taken:

  • Registration of the property with the MDE, which must be renewed annually
  • Provide all new residents with the Maryland Notice of Tenants Rights pamphlet and the EPA Brochure and have them sign that they have received both
  • Every two years following, have the tenants resign to indicate they received the same documents
  • At every turnover of tenants or any other significant event (significant maintenance work) is completed at the property, a new visual and dust swipe inspection must be completed, and a new Full risk reduction certificate issued. No new tenants can move into the property until the property successfully passes the inspection
  • Only Lead Paint certified contractors can do any work at your property
Flaking paint

Dust swipe

Dust swipe

In summary, where ever feasible, the Lead-free or Limited Lead-free certification is by far the most desirable for a rental property.

If your property is within the City of Annapolis limits and was built before 1978, property owners must have a valid lead paint certification before a rental license can even be applied for.

If you are considering renting your property and it was built before or before 1978, one of the first things you should do is get a lead paint inspection.

More information on all Lead paint tests can be found at:
www.Leadprobe.com – Phone # 410-591-4597

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(410) 695-6151 sales@annapolispropertyservices.com

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