Loyola University Chicago

Healthy Homes & Healthy Communities

Lead disclosure laws

Federal law requires a property owner or seller to inform new tenants and/or buyers of known lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before most sales or leases. Most private housing, public housing, federally-owned housing, and housing receiving federal assistance are affected by this rule.

Before a contract for housing sale or lease is final, sellers and landlords must:

  • Give the tenant or buyer an EPA-approved information pamphlet, such as Protect Your Family From Lead In Your HomeCopies are available in Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic, Russian, and Somali.
  • Disclose to the tenant or buyer any known information concerning lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards, including the location and condition.
  • Provide any known records and reports on lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards (for multi-unit buildings, this requirement includes records and reports concerning common areas and other units, when such information was obtained as a result of a building-wide inspection).
  • Include the disclosure forms as an attachment to the contract or lease (or including the language in the lease itself). Sellers or landlords, and agents, as well as homebuyers or tenants, must sign and date the attachment.
  • Provide homebuyers a 10-day period to conduct a paint inspection or risk assessment for lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards. Parties may agree, in writing, to lengthen or shorten the time period for inspection. Homebuyers may waive this inspection opportunity.
  • Keep a copy of the disclosures for no less than three years from the date of sale or the date the leasing period begins. It is a good idea for the buyer or tenant to keep a copy as well.

If you did not receive the Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead-Based Paint Hazards form when you bought or leased pre-1978 housing, contact 1-800-424-LEAD (5323).

In Illinois, owners of residential buildings or dwelling units built before 1978 must give prospective lessees information about the potential health hazards posed by lead in residential buildings by providing the lessees with a copy of Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home.

In addition, if a property owner has received a mitigation notice under Section 9.1 of the Illinois Lead Poisoning Prevention Act, as stated on page 15 of the Act, the owner must disclose to potential tenants that a lead hazard has been previously identified in the unit, unless the owner has obtained a certificate of compliance for the unit. In that case, the owner must provide the potential tenant with a copy of the inspection report.

Lastly, if a property owner has received a mitigation notice, the property owner is required to post notices, as stated on section 9.4 on page 16 of the Act, in common areas of the building that must include the following information:

  • that lead hazards have been found
  • that other units in the building may have lead hazards
  • that the Illinois Department of Public Health recommends that all children under 6 years old receive a blood lead screening
  • where to seek further information
  • whether mitigation notices have been issued for two or more units in the last five years