Many landlords are unclear on when they are obligated to test their properties for lead. In Philadelphia, a landlord must test the property for lead where; 1.) The property is built before 1978; 2.) Landlord is renting to Tenants with children aged 6 or under in the property. Under these circumstances the landlord is legally required to provide the Tenant with a Philadelphia Lead Safe Certificate. The Lead Certificate cannot be waived under the terms of the written lease. For example, if your lease states Tenant is waiving their rights to lead disclosure the disclosure STILL must be provided.
Penalties for Noncompliance with Philadelphia Lead Disclosure Law
A landlord who ignores the Philadelphia Lead Disclosure Law may face civil lawsuits and/or be unable to evict tenants from their property. For example, if your tenant has a child aged six or under, and you have not provided the above-certificate, you may be unable to use the courts to evict the tenant. Further, pursuant to the PLDCL the Tenant may sue you for all back rent paid, plus exemplary damages of $2,000.00, attorneys fees, and other costs. You may have multiple defenses to a lead claim brought by Tenant such as lack of notice, and/or lack of knowledge of children in the Property. If you have been sued by a Tenant for violation of the PLDCL contact our office.