New Jersey’s Lead Free vs Lead Safe Certification

October 7, 2022 8:42 am

A Quick Reference Guide for NJ Landlords

By now, many New Jersey landlords have received a letter from their town or have heard about New Jersey’s new lead-based paint regulations. 

New Jersey’s newest lead-based paint law, went into effect July 22, 2022 and directly targets ALL pre-1978 rental properties. In addition to new lead paint inspection intervals, New Jersey also requires different testing methods depending on where your rental unit is located. Some municipalities require visual inspections, while others require dust wipe sampling.

NJDCA’s List of Municipalities That Are Required to Collect Lead Dust Wipe Samples

The goal of the lead-based paint inspection is to be issued either a Lead Safe Certificate or a Lead Free Certificate. But what do these certifications mean and how do landlords comply with the regulation?

Lead Safe Certification

The regulation requires rental property owners to perform one of two types of lead paint assessments in their rental units built prior to 1978: A visual assessment looking for chipping/peeling paint or a collection of dust wipes samples. Each municipality in New Jersey has different requirements and our specialists can help landlords determine which type of inspection is required.

Depending on the findings of a visual inspection or dust wipe sampling, a lead safe certification will be issued which is proof of compliance with the regulation. A Lead Safe Certification requires periodic reinspections. Unlike a Lead Free Certification which is good for the life of the rental unit.

While Lead Safe is the minimum requirement, the visual inspection can quickly turn into costly remediation and re-inspection if even a small amount of paint chipping is present. 

Lead Free Certification

Lead Free Certification means that there is no lead paint in the rental unit or interior common areas. This can only be achieved through a lead-based paint inspection utilizing an XRF instrument. If, during a visual inspection, chipping paint is noticed then an XRF measurement can be taken to prove if it is an actual lead based paint hazard or not.

One common question we are asked is, “why spend more money on an XRF inspection if I don’t have to?” The answer to that is simple. XRF testing does require an incremental cost increase. But, it is a fraction of the cost of abatement and reinspection fees and is the only way to definitely prove a surface does not contain lead-based paint hazards.  Additionally, if no lead-based paint is identified, the dwelling unit will receive a lead-based paint free certificate.  A lead-free certification exempts the dwelling unit from having to comply with the regulation, including future periodic inspections, and it is good for the life of the dwelling unit.

Have Questions?

LEW Environmental Service, long time NJ Apartment Assoc. (NJAA) and NJ Property Owner Assoc. (POA) member. We are the largest lead-paint inspection company and welcome the opportunity to share our 30+ years of experience and expertise to New Jersey property owners.

Are you ready to get ahead of lead laws? Call LEW Environmental Services today, questions are always FREE!  800-783-0567

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