What is RRP? Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP), is a new federally mandated program to deal with the issue of lead paint in homes, primarily those homes built prior to 1978. The program takes effect April 22, 2010. It’s important that general contractors, real estate agents, plumbers, remodelers, handy-men, painters, property owners, carpenters, electricians, and all others who work in home repair or maintenance be aware of the rules and the requirements for compliance.

 The basic requirement is that work in homes containing lead paint which may include, but is not limited to, the replacement of windows or disturbing painted surfaces of more than six square feet inside a home or twenty square feet outside a home, be done by a Certified Renovator. And, it isn’t enough that a contractor be certified, the work must be continually supervised by someone who has taken a HUD approved training course. Additionally, spot testing for lead paint must now be done by a Certified Renovator.

There are exemptions for homeowners or tenants doing work on their own homes or rentals, but those doing such work, should be familiar with the guidelines to avoid creating future liability for themselves or danger for others. And while work not disturbing paint, such as merely applying an additional coat, isn’t covered by RRP, if sanding or otherwise disturbing the underlying surface is involved, compliance is required.

With an estimated 35 million homes in the U. S. containing lead paint, virtually all remodelers, builders, painters, property managers, and real estate agents will at some time encounter homes with lead-based paint. Therefore, it is critical that all those with the potential to have contact with homes containing lead-based paint familiarize themselves with both the necessary practices and requirements of the program.

While the EPA has produced a booklet, “Renovate Right,” to address the issues and requirements of the new program, real estate agents are still required to provide the EPA pamphlet, “Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home,” as a part of the lead hazard disclosure in sales and leases. And those agents who are involved in property management or who recommend contractors, should be familiar with the new rules in order to confirm compliance with RRP.

The RRP rules are far-reaching, burdensome; and compliance will be costly and in many cases difficult. Additionally, EPA continues to make rule modifications. Those whose business involves homes that may contain lead paint should familiarize themselves with RRP and any changes that may be forthcoming. Failure to do so could not only be financially harmful, but could result in the potential for lawsuits which may be filed by anyone who is aware of non-compliance.