In most cases, Michigan landlords are required to provide some basic assurances of safety to tenants. Renting apartments in a building that is falling down is unethical and could be illegal. Gray areas exist with regard to landlord responsibility for tenant safety, often resulting in landlord-tenant disagreements over repairs or other issues. One area where some may disagree is on safety issues involving lead-based paint.

One law provides some details about how remodeling, rebuilding or repair work must be done in buildings that might contain lead-based paint. According to the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting rule, which was issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, any business or individual working to paint, repair or remodel residential and other structures must be certified in mandatory lead-safety training.

Any project that might disturb the paint in a home, school or child care facility that was built prior to 1978, and thus may have lead-based paint, must be completed by certified workers. Lead-safe work habits include containing the work area with warning signs, and plastic to protect HVAC systems, furniture and other rooms. Water mist and cleaning areas should be used between work zones and other areas, to reduce the chance that workers will track lead dust to other areas.

Finally, workers must clean the area thoroughly when work is complete to avoid leaving behind contamination. Just a small amount of lead dust or lead paint can be harmful to children. Landlords in Michigan should be aware of the dangers of lead paint and work to remove paint when possible. When hiring firms to perform construction or other work in residential facilities, landlords should ensure companies are property certified. Failure to avoid safety issues could result in tenant disputes or lawsuits.

Source: LARA, “2010 Mandatory Lead-Safety Information” Aug. 27, 2014

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