How Do I Get Lead Certifications on My Cleveland Properties?
Tri-County Inspections has been working closely with Cleveland landlords, property investors and property managers, as well as real estate professionals throughout the 10 counties in our service area, for over 20 years. We understand how important managing your properties is to your bottom line. Keeping your tenants safe from lead poisoning while minimizing their inconvenience and your costs, is at the top of our objectives when you order your Lead Clearance Testing from us.
Cleveland Lead Safe Certification FAQs
Answer: Beginning March 31, 2021, the City of Cleveland is requiring all residential rental units built before 1978 to receive a Lead Safe Certification. In order to combat lead poisoning, the City of Cleveland has required residential rental units built before 1978 to get a Lead Safe Certification. To obtain a Lead Safe Certification, rental property owners must pass a Lead Clearance test conducted by an independent, certified lead safe worker, like Tri-County Inspections.
Answer: No. Being "lead safe" means making sure homes don’t pose a lead risk before a child could be poisoned. A home is lead safe when lead risks have been controlled so that the concentration of leaded dust remains below the threshold set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This means a lead safe home is no longer hazardous but may still contain lead. This is why cleaning the property to eliminate lead dust before the lead clearance test is so important.
- Chipped, deteriorating, or peeling paint anywhere inside or outside of the home. You must stabilize deteriorated paint.
- Bare, or exposed, soil. Cover the soil with straw or mulch.
- A home with visible dust. Perform an Environmental Clean shortly before the Lead Clearance Test to eliminate built up dirt and dust in order to pass the visual inspection. Make sure there is no dust on friction areas like: window sills, floors, doorways, horizontal surfaces beneath friction surfaces - like window sills and floors around windows, doors and cabinets.
- Paint chips anywhere - outside, on deck or porch, on windows, window wells, ceilings, basement... You must stabilize deteriorated paint, or cover it with flooring or protective coverings on stairs and porches.
If the property fails the visual lead test, our certified Lead Clearance Technician is not permitted to collect samples and the Lead Clearance Test will not proceed until proper remediation and cleaning can pass a visual inspection.
Lead remediation is any work (including cleaning) done to reduce lead hazards. There are two types of Lead Remediation though Lead dust hazards can always be present.
- Interim Controls are temporary mitigation strategies that need to be monitored including an environmental clean, at minimum, covering bare soil (mulch), and stabilizing deteriorated paint.
- Abatement is the longer-term mitigation strategy that can last up to 20 years. It includes removing and replacing components (i.e. windows & doors), or covering large surfaces including walls, ceilings, & exposed soil (i.e. remove and replace soil or pave-over) to ensure property is free of all traces of lead.
To comply with the new lead-safe law, the remediation process employs interim control activities to address researched and tested signs of lead risks and hazards. Interim controls are measures that are taken to ensure a property is lead safe. In using interim controls The video below will outline various risks and hazards and the standard interim controls to remediate a property before and/or after a lead clearance.
Interim controls can be used to create a lead safe home and comply with the new Lead Safe Certification requirements. You are NOT required to abate your property unless a child living at your property has been identified with an elevated blood lead level.
Answer: Our fees, listed on our Home Inspection Costs page, are $420 for a complete lead clearance test per unit. The cost is based on 12 samples per unit, the required minimum. Additional samples can be purchased at $35 per sample. For multi-unit properties, please contact us for discounted pricing.
Answer: After we send the 12 samples per unit to the lab, the lead testing lab will return results in 5-7 business days. We can pay additional fees for rush results, however - the City of Cleveland is taking 3 weeks to process the paperwork in order to issue the lead safe certificate, and there is no option to rush that end of the process.
Answer: Click here for a printable version of a detailed report on how to perform an Environmental Cleaning on your property to remediate lead - eliminate lead dust and deteriorated paint (chipping, peeling or flaking) before your Lead Clearance Test.
Simple Cleaning Procedures:
- Time your cleaning shortly before the Lead Clearance Test so that there will be no dust built up when our lead inspector arrives. You may want to keep the windows open a few inches, so that the inspector does not need to open the windows - which can generate dust on friction areas, like windows and doors.
- Pick up large chips and debris with a damp paper towel and throw away in a garbage bag.
- If a HEPA vacuum is available, vacuum all horizontal surfaces, such as tops of window casings, sashes, doors, trim and floors. Give special attention to window troughs, sills, cracks and crevices. Start at the top and work down, cleaning floors last.
- Use two buckets, one for wash water and one for clear water rinse. Wash surfaces with the all-purpose cleaning solution (wear gloves if harsh detergents are used. Start up high and work down to the floors. Follow the wash procedure with the clear water rinse. Change the wash and rinse water frequently (at least once per room) and use disposable towels.
- After the cleaned surfaces have completely air dried, HEPA vacuum all surfaces again.
- Put all cleaning items (towels, disposable mop heads, etc,) in a plastic bag. Tie the bag closed and throw away in garbage. Remove paint chips and empty water down a toilet
- Change the wash and rinse water frequently (at least once per room) and use disposable towels.
- Be sure to wear old washable clothing and avoid smoking or eating while cleaning.
Answer: You will need to get a lead safe certification from the City of Cleveland every 2 years. Your Lead Safe Certification is good for 2 years.
Answer: Currently, the only way is to call the City of Cleveland, Department of Housing @ 216-664-2282. The city is working on an online tool to search by address but no ETA has been set.
Answer: Currently, if you are in violation, you will be issued a VN (Violation Notice). Once you have the notice you can do one of three things:
- You can request an appeal and get a court date to defend your non-compliance with the housing court (within 30 days of receiving the VN)
- You can submit your clearance test results (within 30 days of receiving the VN)
- If no action is taken, you could be fined and prosecuted with misdemeanor 1st degree and whatever housing court decides.
Answer: You have to pay for your test clearance test up front. Once you pass your clearance test and have your certificate in hand, you can fill out INCENTIVES DISCLAIMER and send it to the Lead Safe Resource Center and they will reimburse you up to $500 per unit for up to three units per zip code. You need to send in your W9, INCENTIVES DISCLAIMER, and Certificate. Click on links W9 and INCENTIVES DISCLAIMER.
- Note 1: You are eligible for up to 3 units per zip code per owner. For example, if you have a 10 unit building, the max you can get reimbursed for is 3 units.
- Note 2: If you own houses in different LLC's in the same zip code, then technically they are different owners so each owner would be eligible for $500 reimbursement for up to 3 units.
- Note 3: The incentive refund is only based on funds available through the program, so funds may be depleted at any time.
Answer: Click LEAD SAFE CERTIFICATION APPLICATION and sign. Then, email your application with the full report from your clearance technician to LeadCertCLE@city.cleveland.oh.us
Answer: After the Department of Building and Housing reviews your report, if your property is deemed to be Lead Safe, you may receive a Notice in Lieu of Lead Safe Certificate. This certificate serves as proof your property or building is in compliance of being Lead Safe until the formal certificate is issued by the Department of Building and Housing.
How Many Units Do I Need to Get Tested?
If you manage over 20 units in Cleveland, open our pdf: Minimum Number of Randomly Sampled Residential Units or Room Equivalents To Be Tested, to determine how many units to be tested in order to achieve 95% level of confidence. For example, if you own 35 units in Cleveland, 27 need to be tested.