City of Detroit Rental Property Lead Clearance
The City of Detroit uses the term "Lead Clearance" to pertain to the LBP Inspection and Risk Assessment protocol described above. Typically these testing stages are conducted concurrently for a single house. However, it may be more cost effective to test multiple houses at the same time by deferring the Risk Assessment until after the LBP Inspections are done. If the LBP/RA testing identifies the presence of damaged LBP or harmful accumulations of lead dust in the house, then corrective actions are required. The additional testing and documentation performed to verify these actions is called a Lead Clearance.
In 2010, the City of Detroit Property Maintenance Code was amended to include new requirements for rental property owners. This became implemented as the City of Detroit Rental Property Ordinance, requires all rental property constructed prior to 1978 to be tested and certified as "Lead-safe." The Lead Clearance requirement became a condition for obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy. Learn more from the City of Detroit page. Download a copy of the current Ordinance.
Tri-Tech has reviewed the proposed Ordinance and has noted the following changes as it pertains to the Lead Clearance and additional Re-Evaluations for lead:
- The owner’s certificate of registration for the rental property shall thereafter be renewed once every three years if the rental property is a one- or two-family, or once every two years if the rental property is other than a one- or two-family dwelling.
- An online code compliance registry will be maintained on the City website.
- Civil fines for noncompliance are proposed to be increased 2.5 to 10 times current amounts, depending on the offense.
- Enforcement will be scheduled based on zip code according to a schedule promulgated by the department and posted on the city’s website. The schedule shall be promulgated no later than 60 days following the effective date of the ordinance.
- Enforcement is intended to include an additional measure that it shall be unlawful for an owner to allow any unoccupied rental property to be occupied, or to collect rent for occupancy of a rental property, during or for any time in which there is not a valid certificate of compliance for that rental property (however see note on this limit below).
- A grace period is specified to allow rental property to be occupied without a lead-clearance report. “The owner shall not be required to obtain a lead clearance until the next prescribed annual inspection date for the owner for the rental property occurring after the effective date of the ordinance that added this section.”
- All properties must have a Lead Based Paint Inspection. A Risk Assessment is only required if a lead hazard is found. In this circumstance, the Risk Assessment requirement is only triggered by a change in tenant, not to exceed more than one per year.
- Full abatement and/or renovation removal after the LBP Inspection would negate the requirement for a Risk Assessment.
- After Lead Clearance is obtained, an annual Risk Assessment is required if lead hazards were previously identified and corrected by Interim Controls.
- If all lead hazards are addressed by enclosure, Risk Assessment to verify the integrity of the enclosures is only required every five years.
Comments on the Proposed 2017 Revisions
The City of Detroit appears to be redoubling its effort to make all rental property “lead-safe.” It has been reported that the City is hiring more inspectors and is outsourcing some inspections to private contractors, such as Safe-Built.
These changes will generally ramp up enforcement and put additional pressure on owners to comply, especially pertaining to older property with significant maintenance issues. Owners will be given some time to comply and enforcement can be anticipated based on the zip code schedule and the following annual inspection date (provided the Owner has not already been given a notice of non-compliance).
However, there is some good news. Some concessions have been granted regarding the testing requirements. These changes would favor owners who have stable tenants and well-maintained buildings and keep taxes and registrations current. There are some opportunities to decrease lead testing costs for savvy owners who will be proactive and know how to take advantage of these new provisions.
Zip code 48214 leads the state in lead poisoning, with 17% of children affected. Zip codes 48209, 48210, 48204, 48238 had the highest occurrence until recently. It is unknown what criteria will be used to prioritize enforcement but it would seem logical that lead poisoning rates for the zip codes would be used to set the schedule.
It is possible that new enforcements efforts will substantially increase local Lead Inspector/Risk Assessor and hazard control/painting firms workload, thereby increasing prices. Therefore, it is recommended that Owners start getting work done if possible before this new enforcement push occurs!
Six percent of all Detroit children tested in 2004 had lead poisoning, three times the national average. The City of Detroit firmly believes education can be improved and crime can be reduced by reducing child ead exposures.
Progress is being made...but there is still some work to be done...
Lead is heavy. The release of lead dust and paint chips can easily be controlled by using drop cloths and plastic barriers. Lead dust is easily cleaned from most surfaces by common cleaning techniques. Most child lead exposures are preventable.
Enforcement by zip code has been proposed