Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Massachusetts


My wife and I live in Massachusetts and plan on having a baby.

The apartment we live in has lead paint (tested positive with a lead test kit on windows etc). We have a multi-year lease.

1) Does the landlord/owner need to fix this issue by de-leading the place?

2) Is this a requirement for pregnant tenants or only after a child is born?

3) When is the right time to notify the landlord (e.g. at first sign of pregnancy vs after birth)?

4) Can the landlord evict instead of de-leading and are there any protections for pregnant tenants or parents with a newborn?

5) Who has to pay for these renovations?

Thank you for any help!

Asked on 2/14/20, 12:36 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Alan Pransky Law Office of Alan J. Pransky

The landlord has to de-lead the apartment. As far as I know it only applies to after the child is born. Lead Paint is dangerous because children ingest lead paint. Young children, under age 6, will chew on just about anything they can get their mouth on. This includes window sills, loose paint chips, or other painted surfaces. Hopefully your wife is not chewing such items so it shouldn't be an issue. If lead is removed improperly then it changes from lead painted surface to lead dust. This can be inhaled by anyone so you probably don't want to stay in the house while it is being de-leaded. The law requires that the work be done by a company that is certified in the proper techniques.

I suggest telling the landlord when you are telling people outside your family. There is no need to tell the landlord when the pregnancy is first discovered. Certainly you should tell the landlord before the "baby bump" shows.

You indicate that you have a multi-year lease. The landlord can't evict because of a pregnancy. The landlord can only evict if you violate the lease. If it is an owner occupied property in which there are 4 or less units, the landlord can refuse to rent to a family with young children. If not,then the landlord cannot discriminate against the family because of children.

The landlord has to pay for the renovations.

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Answered on 2/14/20, 12:49 pm

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