As National Homeownership Month comes to a close, I wanted to point out an often-overlooked fact concerning purchasing an existing home that might be or will be going through a rehabilitation soon.According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), since April 2010, anyone who performs renovations, repairs, or painting (RRP) in pre-1978 housing must be Lead-Safe Certified by the EPA or an EPA-Authorized state. Individuals and firms that are not certified can face fines of up to $38,892 per day.

Yes, that is $38,892 per day.

EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule requires that firms performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, childcare facilities and pre-schools built before 1978 be certified by EPA or an EPA-authorized state. You can also use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers and follow lead-safe work practices.

Possible Deal Killers

As a lender or real estate professionals or future homeowners, etc…, you will need to change your thinking when getting a Rehab Consultant. A Rehab Consultant has to be contacted before the selection of a contractor.


Think about the normal timelines for rehab projects. Depending on the type of documentation that may be needed, it can take 3 to 4 weeks to get certain documents ready for a renovation loan doing a Feasibility Study (PWWU). If the contractor the borrower has selected discovers they need to be EPA certified, they must either sub-contracted the painting or the contractor must become certified. Nobody knows how long it will take the contractor to take the course and/or pay the various fees to become certified. Many contractors do not know about the EPA certification for Lead Paint. If you can get a Rehab Consultant on board at the beginning of the project to assist you and the borrower, it can become a “win-win” for all parties.

Planning can save a lot you a lot of stress. Finding a good contractor is so hard these days because they are so busy doing other work. Usually, they do not have the time to become certified or to input their quotes under the FHA or Fannie Mae 35-point process, etc… Below are some links that can better educate us about the Lead Base Paint rules that can help us all be better.

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