Living in a North Carolina rental home, you have limited options regarding maintenance and renovations. However, when it comes to paint, you have more than condition and color to consider. If your home was built before 1978, lead could be an issue.
According to the National Center for Healthy Housing, North Carolina has a lead law known as the Childhood Lead Exposure Control Act. Through this legislation, state law makers created a Preventative Maintenance Program that provides standards for controlling lead exposure. The program is voluntary, but if your landlord participates in it, he or she may not be liable if you sue because of lead poisoning.
Per the standards, your landlord should have already given you information about the PMP, and also a pamphlet from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that details steps you can take to keep your family safe from lead exposure. Each year, a new Certificate of Compliance is issued after the home passes the inspection, which is performed by a risk assessor or certified lead inspector.
Lead paint does not have to be removed, but it does have to be covered so there is no contaminated dust in the home. Surfaces such as doors and windows may encounter friction through use, so these must be adjusted to minimize that effect. Any horizontal surfaces inside the rental should be smooth so that it is easy for you to clean them and prevent dust build-up along areas such as window sills. There are also special cleaning techniques that the landlord should use to remove the dust in your home.
This information may give you some idea of the standards your landlord may comply with to reduce his or her liability for lead poisoning. However, it is provided for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice.