Topic: Lead-Based Paint

Answers Your Legal Questions

Both federal and Illinois law require landlords to provide prospective tenants with a copy of a brochure which has information about lead-based paint. The Illinois Department of Public Health has stated that providing the federal brochure, entitled "What You Need to Know About Lead in Your Home" satisfies both the state and federal requirements. The brochure can be found online in the REALTOR® Store, brochures section.

HUD/EPA Rules on Lead Based Paint Disclosure

Existing Laws on Lead Paint for Property Owners/Managers/REALTORS®

Federal law already requires property owners to:

  • Disclose any knowledge of lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards when selling or renting a house built before 1978.
  • Allow a buyer to have a lead inspection at the buyer’s expense, after an opportunity to negotiate for this with seller. 
  • Include a lead warning statement in leases.
  • Use lead-safe work practices when making certain repairs and renovations.

Illinois state law requires property owners to:

  • Allow inspection of a residential unit when a resident is found to be lead-poisoned.
  • Follow regulated mitigation procedures when a lead hazard has been identified.
  • Post lead hazard warning signs at work sites when property houses two or more families.
  • Allow regulated lead abatement procedures if mitigation is ineffective.
  • Disclose any lead hazard to renters and provide IDPH brochure to buyers or renters in buildings built before 1978.
  • City of Chicago regulations already require property owners to:
  • Abide by a duty to maintain lead-hazard free property.
  • Allow inspections of all units for lead hazards.
  • Abide by a duty to maintain property according to any existing mitigation plan.
  • Provide a mitigation plan, subject to CDPH approval, when a lead hazard is identified.

For detailed information on how to comply with lead prevention laws and lead safety:

2008 Rule for Renovators/Rehabbers

A requirement regarding lead-based paint disclosure took effect Dec. 22, 2008. Specifically, persons performing renovations for compensation must provide a brochure entitled “Renovate Right” to owners and occupants of residential real property built before 1978. Find the brochure (pdf) at Note that all lead-based paint disclosure rules remain the same for disclosure in the sales or rentals of residential real estate built before 1978.

2006 Rule for Property Owners/ Managers 

The Illinois Lead Poisoning Prevention Act was amended by the Illinois General Assembly in the spring session of 2006 (Public Act 94-0879). The law sets out requirements for property owners/managers, retailers, and state and local departments of public health aimed at preventing the devastating effects of childhood lead poisoning.

Lead poisoning in children can cause irreversible brain damage and even at very low levels can lead to life-long learning, behavioral and physical problems. Most children are poisoned in their own homes, and deteriorating lead paint on windows, doors, and porches in homes built before 1978 is the main cause.  


  • Allow inspection by departments of public health of common areas of multi-family residential buildings when two or more units within a five-year period have had mitigation notices issued, and to allow a lead inspection by departments of public health when a pregnant woman, parent or guardian of a child under six, residing in the same building, requests an inspection.
  • Post notices in the common area of a building when the property owner has received a mitigation notice. The posted notice must say that a lead hazard has been discovered, that other units may also have a hazard, that children under 6 should be screened, where to seek further information, and whether the owner has received multiple mitigation notices. The Illinois Department of Public Health(IDPH) shall provide the notices (to be posted) along with the mitigation notice.
  • Follow mitigation plans within a time frame established by departments of public health with consideration given to the owner’s financial ability to complete repairs. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) must make an owner aware of any financial assistance programs available.
  • Note: The 2006 law also sets new penalties for violations, including prohibiting residential property owners who have willfully and knowingly failed to comply with a mitigation order from doing business with the state or state agencies for a period of time.

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