Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview
Overview of Fayetteville, AR

Monday, April 19, 2010

Is NW Arkansas unprepared for this or what? RRP—what it is and why you need to know.

It seems like there are always some “hot-button” issues that realtors, landlords and others related to housing and real estate must deal with. Radon, asbestos, sexual offenders, and mold come to mind as issues from the recent past. And in some areas of Arkansas we can add meth houses.

Now lead-based paint is back on the front burner all over the country in the form of a new federal law.

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 (that’s this Thursday for those who are paying attention).

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. Failure to do so can result in a fine of $37,500 per day, per violation! Heavy duty stuff.

The issue is “disturbing” lead-based paint which was commonly used in the past. Homes built after 1978 (when the federal law against the use of lead-based paint went into effect) do not have lead-based paint, and even many homes built after 1950 may not have it, since that’s when some paint makers voluntarily quit making it.

What constitutes disturbing lead-based paint? Sanding it or scraping it off, for example, on an interior wall area more than 6 feet square or an exterior area more than 20 feet square. Also such activities as replacing windows.

The main problem appears to be lead dust which can be ingested or airbourne. The issue is to limit the exposure of humans, especially children, to lead-based paint hazards. Thus buildings potentially inhabited by children in addition to homes and apartments, such as day care centers and schools, are covered by the new law.

The bottom line is that renovations of such buildings must be done by a certified renovator and supervised by someone who has taken an approved training course. There are certain techniques and practices for such renovations, which must be followed. Compliance in many cases will be difficult and in many cases, costly. In some cases, there may not be an issue if a certified inspector finds that there is no lead-based paint in the building or home.

However as of now, there are only 4 approved lead paint contractors on the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality—ADEQ--list in the whole state of Arkansas. There are lots of contractors approved to deal with asbestos, but not lead-based paint. And none of the approved lead paint contractors is in NW Arkansas.

But there’s lots of information out there, and there are some opportunities. For contractors who remodel older homes, getting approved and licensed may mean a foot in the door and more work before competitora also get approved. For landlords with older buildings which are lead-free, this may become a marketing advantage.

There are also responsibilities for realtors and property management companies. Both would be advised to recommend to their repair personnel that they become certified.

This blog post doesn’t begin to address all of the issues, but does hope to draw the attention of those who may be in the process of purchasing an older home or about to do so to the new law and the issues surrounding it.

There are a number of websites for information--just click on the following links:

State of Arkansas ADEQ list of approved contractors

National Association of Realtors Video FAQs and other information

HUD lead paint disclosure requirements

EPA printable brochure about the new law

EPA requirements and information about the new law

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