How to Break Your Lease for Lead Paint Violations
As a tenant, you have rights and responsibilities in maintaining your home and your lease. However, there may come a time when you need to break your lease for unforeseen reasons to live the best and healthiest life possible. If you have found that a lead paint problem is present in your home, it may be time to break the lease and move on.
Breaking a lease due to lead paint violations can be difficult, and your landlord will likely attempt to charge you as much as they can before you leave. However, you may be able to avoid unfair fees if you can prove that your landlord violated safety measures in allowing you to live in a home with lead paint. For help in saving money when you break your lease, get in touch with us at DoNotPay for guidance.
Laws Regulating Lead Paint in Residences
While each state likely has specific regulations for controlling lead paint in residences, there are also a few laws set in place by the federal government. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set up several laws regulating the allowance of lead paint in homes and other structures where people (especially children) may congregate.
- Homes and childcare facilities built before 1978 must be cleaned of lead and will be cleared only if there are ten micrograms or less of lead in dust per square foot in floors and 100 micrograms or less of lead in dust per square foot on windowsills.
- Sellers, landlords, and agents must inform homeowners or renters of any lead-based paint within their residences before signing a lease or purchasing a home.
- Homes with lead paint built before 1978 should be subject to lead abatement practices by trained individuals aware of lead paint hazards and know how to get rid of them.
- The EPA investigates and prosecutes any violations of lead-based paint disclosures and practices under the laws of the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Residential Lead-based Paint Hazard Reduction Act. It can investigate under the action of the Department of Justice.
- You can report violations of safe lead paint practices to the EPA. If your landlord has failed to warn you of violations adequately, they may be fined by the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes.
As a tenant in a home, you have the right to a safe and clean residence. If you discover lead paint violations after moving in, you are entitled to report this violation of the law and seek further help breaking your lease and finding a safer place to live.
How to Break My Lease for Lead-Based Paint Violations
While you can sue your landlord for lead-based paint violations, you will probably also want to move out of the dangerous space as soon as possible. The best thing you can do is begin the process of breaking your lease and moving out. Here are the steps to effectively break your lease with your landlord because of lead paint violations.
- Write to your landlord. As soon as you discover the lead paint issue, whether through testing the paint in your home or finding high levels of lead in your or your children's blood, write a letter documenting the problem to your landlord. Be sure to detail how you discovered the issue, the danger level, who could be harmed, and what you want the landlord to do about it.
- Test your home. You can and should request a test from your landlord. If they refuse to help, you can contact your local health department to test for you.
- Keep records. Log important information and steps you have taken. Write your landlord again if they refuse to answer you.
- Report the lead paint violation to your local health department or the EPA.
- Talk to your landlord. Again, do what you can to break your lease in a mutually beneficial manner. However, if your landlord won't agree to work with you on breaking your lease, you could argue that you are the victim of constructive eviction. This means you have been "evicted" because your home was unsafe to live in, and your landlord refused to help you fix the issues making your home uninhabitable.
- File a complaint. You will probably want to file with your local housing courts, though you can also file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Breaking Your Lease By State
If you'd like to see the specific laws surrounding breaking a lease in your state, view the appropriate link in the table below:
How DoNotPay Can Help You Break Your Lease for Lead Paint Violations
As you can see, the process of breaking your lease and talking to the right authorities can be challenging and confusing. You will have to contact several departments to be sure you've taken the right steps towards breaking your lease lawfully. If you want a simpler and easier way to break your lease, DoNotPay can help you.
Here are the steps you can take to get help from DoNotPay to effectively break your lease:
- Search Break My Lease on DoNotPay.
- Prepare a signed copy of your lease that you can use as a reference and enter the state the lease was signed in.
- Let us guide you through the 4 potential options.
- If you're a uniformed service member breaking a lease to fulfill your service obligations, we'll send your landlord an SCRA Protection Letter.
- If you're breaking your lease for a reason protected by your state's tenant laws, we'll write your landlord a letter detailing your protections for breaking the lease under the relevant law.
- If your reasons for breaking your lease aren't protected by federal or state law but you'd like to try to convince your landlord to let you break the lease through mutual agreement, we'll draft a hardship letter making your case to your landlord. It is important to break your lease legally to avoid the consequences such as getting sued by your landlord for breach of contract or hurting your credit score due to unpaid fees.
- If there are no remaining options for breaking the lease with protection but your state requires landlords to mitigate damages to tenants who break their leases, we'll notify your landlord of that obligation and minimize the remaining rent you have to pay.
Other Ways DoNotPay Can Help
In addition to helping you break your lease effectively, DoNotPay can help you with other legal issues you may be facing. For example, we can help you:
- Deal with breaches of contract.
- Reduce your property taxes.
- Change your mailing address.
- Handle neighbor complaints.
- And more.
To get help solving your legal challenges with DoNotPay, sign up for a free account to get started today.