Selling or Renting a House? Know the Law!


By Rossany Auceda, Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

Are you selling or renting a residential property? If you are about to sell or rent a single/multifamily house or apartment that was built before 1978, you must follow the federal Real Estate Disclosure Rule. 

Since 1996, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has required the disclosure of known lead-based paint hazards before the sale or lease of most housing built prior to 1978.  Under the real estate disclosure rule sellers and landlords must:


  • Fill out a standard form indicating whether you have specific knowledge of lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards in the dwelling and provide this form to buyers and renters. Find the form in English and in Spanish at (scroll the page down)
  • Provide copies of any inspection reports pertaining to lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards in or around the property to the buyer and renter.
  • Provide a copy of the Iowa pamphlet Lead Poisoning: How to Protect Iowa Families or EPA pamphlet titled Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home.  Both are available online in multiple languages. 
  • Allow the buyer 10 days to get a lead inspection at their own expense, if the buyer wants an inspection.
  • Sales contracts and leasing agreements must include certain notification and disclosure language. 
  • Sellers, lessors, and real estate agents share the same responsibility for ensuring law compliance.

The older your home, the more likely it contains lead-based paint. The Consumer Product Safety Office banned the use of lead in paint in the U.S. until 1978.

 If you need more information about this topic, dial (515) 281-3225.

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