Need a quote?

Please complete the form below. Once the form has been submitted, we will contact you for further information.


Skip to Content

Category Archives: <span>Safety Tips</span>

Detroit Lead Inspections – Full Compliance F.A.Q

Detroit Lead Paint Inspections for Rental Properties  F.A.Q.

Since January 1st, 2010, Detroit has required all Rental property owners to have  a lead clearance for their properties before they can be rented out to the public.  The wording of this ordinance is clear, but to people unfamiliar with lead safety it can also be really very confusing. What is a Clearance? Why do I need a prior inspection? How long is my clearance good for? What can the city do for those who are non-compliant?   We answer these questions and more, daily, and hope that by sharing some of our information with you, we can help you decide what course of action is best moving forward with lead paint inspections.


1.) What exactly does the City rental code require?

The 2010 amendment to the Detroit City Code, Chapter 9, Article 1, Division 3 requires the following:

  • “Owners of rental property built before 1978 in the City of Detroit must have a lead inspection and risk assessment performed to determine the presence of lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards.”
  • “If lead-based paint hazards exist, the hazards must be reduced or controlled using interim controls and/or abatement (as defined by State Law) prior to a tenant occupying the rental property.”
  •  “After Interim Controls and/or Abatement are performed by properly trained and certified and individuals, the owner must obtain a clearance inspection and lead clearance. Owners must obtain this lead clearance in order to receive a Certificate of Compliance and Rental Registration from the City.”

2.) What happens if I ignore this?

To rent a property legally within the City of Detroit, one must obtain a Certificate of Rental Registration.  This can not be achieved without having a lead clearance.

Furthermore, there are penalties for non-compliance.  These fee’s change with the size of the building, but they range from $500-$2000 for single-family/ duplex owners to $2000 -$8000 for Apartment owners. These penalties can continue daily until compliance is achieved.

Under current laws, in the state of Michigan make landlords responsible for lead paint in their rental property.

It’s a criminal offense in the State of Michigan to rent a residential unit to a family with a minor child who is found to have an elevated blood lead level where the property owner or manager has knowledge that the rental unit contains a lead-based paint hazard. (MCL 333.5475a.)

The penalties that can incur after such an incidence is up to 93 days in jail and/or fines as high as $5000 for first-time offenders, and double that for repeat offenders.

On a smaller scale, it is a violation of the Detroit City Code to maintain a rental property that has lead hazards. Section 24-10-25 of the code states that it is ” unlawful for any owner to maintain a dwelling unit in a condition where lead hazards present a danger of lead poisoning to children who inhabit the dwelling.”

The penalty from the city can be as harsh as $500 a day until the said hazard is fixed and cleared.

On a Federal level, Federal law requires landlords to disclose all known lead hazards to tenants at the time of lease or lease renewal. This disclosure must occur even if the hazards have been removed, reduced or abated.  Not disclosing this information is a violation of HUD , the US Department of Housing, and the EPA. The violations start at $11,000 per agency and violation.

3.)How is this any different from older laws?

An ounce of prevention with lead paint is more viable than any cure.  In previous versions of these rental laws, the lead was generally not identified until someone, generally, a child had already been exposed to lead via the paint.  Lead poisoning is not reversible, and they can last a lifetime.  The new laws allow for the prevention of pain and suffering and improve the quality of life for all citizens within the city of Detroit.

4.) What part of the city can help me know if I’m in compliance?

The City of Detroit Buildings and Safety Engineering department is responsible for the regulations and changes to the city’s ordinance.  They can be reached at the following: 800-450-2503

5.) So, when do I need an inspection?

A.) If you’ve never had a Lead-based paint inspection before.

B.)If you had an inspection and used interim controls and a clearance, your inspection should be done annually. 

C.) If you had an inspection and used abatement procedures, your inspections should be done every three years. 

D.)If you had an inspection and no lead paint was found, or the home was fully abated, you require no further lead inspections or risk assessments.

6.) Can I do my own lead inspection? If not, who can help me?

Unless you are a certified lead paint inspector within the state of Michigan, you can not do your own inspections.  These services can be provided by a certified Lead Inspector/Risk assessor within the State of Michigan. The Michigan Department of Community Health is in charge of licensing these professionals. ETC employs well over 20 certified lead technicians and is well versed in dealing with the city of Detroit’s rules and regulations. However, if you’d like to see a list of other Lead safe Inspectors you can find one here!

7.)How much is this going to cost me?

For a Lead Inspection/Risk Assessment, the prices can vary depending on the size of the facility, age of the house, and the number of rooms. Generally, you’re looking at anywhere from $500-$700 for an initial single family home inspection. Multi-family inspections can be a significant amount more and are generally based on unit’s tested.

For a Lead Clearance, You can expect to pay anywhere from $300-$500 depending on the size of the home and how many hazards were found. Multifamily units are again priced per unit and contingent on common areas and number of rooms.

8.) What’s the difference between Abatement and Interim Control Methods?

Abatement: This method of control seeks to act to reduce levels of lead, particularly in the home environment. Generally, this permanently eliminates lead-based paint hazards. This is done in order to reduce or eliminate incidents of lead poisoning. This involves either the complete removal and replacement of lead-based paint surfaces and fixtures or encapsulation of hazardous materials. This also branches out to the removal and covering of soil hazards. The process of abatement includes preparation, cleanup, disposal, and post-abatement clearances. All abatement work must be performed by a state certified lead abatement firm.

Interim Controls: A less permanent, yet generally lower in immediate cost method of dealing with lead paint hazards.  This method is designed to temporarily solve the problem.  Interim controls include, but are not limited to :

  • Specialized cleaning.
  • Repairs
  • General Maintenence
  • Painting
  • Temporary Containment
  • Ongoing monitoring of lead-based paint or hazards.
  • and Resident Education.

The temporary nature is why Interim options require more frequent monitoring than houses which have been abated.

9.) Who can perform these controls or my abatement?

Any certified renovator, with accredited training from the state of Michigan Department of Community Health, and has an up to date, issued certificate can perform renovations.  These individuals can also act as directors of subcontractors to others who supervise while the renovations are being performed.

Abatement, however, must be done by a certified abatement worker. This individual has been trained and specialized to perform this task, and has been certified by the Michigan Department of Community health to perform abatement.

10.) I can’t do the work myself?

As a rental owner, you can. But you must be trained as a certified renovator in order to perform interim controls or renovations that disturb more than 6 square feet of paint per room or 20 feet total.

The good news is, it doesn’t take much to become certified. You or someone on your staff must take the 8-hour Renovate, Repair, and Painting course f from any certified Renovator Trainer.  Environmental Testing and Consulting also specializes in this form of training, and we run these classes often. If you are unable to attend one in our Romulus or Lansing branch, you can find more trainers here.

11.) I just got my first letter from the City. What are my next steps?

  1.  Call 1-800-450-2503 and obtain a certificate of Rental Registration for each of your properties.
  2.  Schedule a lead inspection /risk assessment for your properties.
  3. Hire a contractor, or take classes your self, so that the hazards may be addressed which are highlighted in the Lead Inspection/Risk Assessment report.
  4.  Obtain a Lead Clearance, and send it to ‘Building, Safety Engineering, and Environmental Department” @ 313-628-2451


 City of Detroit, Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Development,  

“New Lead Ordinance Requirements for Rental Property Owners”




CLEARcorps and Detroit Lead Paint Inspections

CLEARcorps and Detroit Lead Paint Inspections 

Since 2010  the Detroit Property Maintenence Code has made it mandatory for owners of rental properties built before 1978 to undergo lead inspections every few years. This is news to many landlords. CLEARcorps has been tasked with getting landlords who are unaware of the law or noncompliant up to code, by sending out notices. 

Lead in paint is one of the largest sources of lead poisoning, causing a variety of health issues.   Fertility damage, kidney damage, high blood pressure in adults, and behavior /learning disabilities in children.  The threat is so prevalent that in 2004  over 6% of children tested for lead exposure by the Detroit Department of Health and Wellness tested positive for lead exposure. 

If you own rental properties in Detroit, built before 1978, or received a notice from CLEARcorps about needing a lead risk assessment or lead clearance, you can find more information about the lead ordinance here. 

In order for the rental property to be occupied in the City of Detroit, the owner must have a Certificate of Rental Registration and a Certificate of Compliance. Neither of which can be obtained without a Lead Clearance.   Inspections are generally required before the lead clearance as most homes in the city are old enough that they will likely have lead hazards of some sort. 

If a property is being rented without the proper clearance, financial penalties can be steep. Fee’s range anywhere from $500 – $8,000 depending on the size of the property. These fines are additional to those that simply not having a certificate of compliance. 

All Landlords are liable to be held responsible for the lead in their rental properties under State, local and federal laws. National laws require landlords to disclose all known lead hazards to tenants even if the hazards have been abated or controlled. 


OSHA’s Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for Construction

OSHA’s New Silica Guidelines

This summer OSHA published a guide to help small businesses comply with agency standards for worker exposure to silica. &nbsp; The new exposure rules went into effect in June and companies have until 2018 to comply.

What is Silica?

Crystalline Silica is a known carcinogen, and exposure can trigger a chronic disease called Silicosis. Silicosis is a deadly disease that scars the lungs and leads to lung cancer. The proposed rule looks to save 700 lives, and prevent 1,600 cases of Silicosis every year. OSHA estimates that 2.3 million workers are exposed to the silica dust, along with an additional 2 million workers in the construction industry.Workers in high energy operations like cutting, drilling or crushing rock may create small particles of respirable silica. These particles are 100 times smaller than sand. The new OSHA guidelines lower the permissible exposure limit to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air during an 8-hour shift. Where can I find information to comply? While OSHA has previously written compliance guides for silica and construction, the new guide focuses on small businesses. There is also an OSHA fact sheet available here.

For an ‘At a Glance’ approach to Silica, ETC has created this handy InfoGraphic for ease of use:



Mold Prevention Tips

Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present. You do not need to know the type of mold growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for molds. No matter what type of mold is present, you should remove it.


8 Lead Safety Tips

With the Flint Water crisis bringing lead poisoning into the spotlight and garnering national attention, many people are left wondering what steps they can take to help ensure their families well being. While some elements may seem uncontrollable, there are steps you can take to create a lead safe home for your little one.

  • Test Older Homes & Buildings: If you have a home built before 1978, there is a good chance there is lead paint within your home. Lead from paint, including lead-contaminated dust, is one of the most common causes of lead poisoning, but the good news is it is easy to test for thre preseence of lead based paint with a simple Lead Inspection and Risk Assessment combo. Knowledge is power, and if you're aware of threats to your home or family, it's easy to contain them.
  • Schedule Deep Cleanings: A common source of lead exposure is from dust. While simply keeping an area dust free helps , you can take extra steps if you think your family may be at risk. You can limit this exposure risk by cleaning with a Tri-Sodium Phosphate cleaner. Tri-Sodium Phosphate bonds to the lead in the dust, and helps assure that harmful lead will not linger behind.
  • Be mindful of lead in toys & toy jewelry: When a child puts an object containing lead in his or her mouth, they can suffer seriously from lead poisoning. While there are laws in the united states to curtail this problem, other country's do not share the same industry standards. Parents should be mindful of their children's toys, and consider the country of origin before giving them to extremely small children.
  • Limit contact to Lipstick and other cosmetics: While letting the little ones play dress up is certain to keep them quiet for a while, the law doesn’t require cosmetic products or ingredients, other than color additives, to have FDA approval before they go on the market. The FDA also doesn’t require cosmetic firms to share their safety data with them, as makeup is not to be ingested. Some beauty products can contain high amounts of lead, that when applied correctly, may pose no threat, but when used in abundance, and perhaps even ingested by a child can pose a major threat.
  • Watch out for Dirt: If you live in the city,there may be lead in the dirt outside your home. Not to meiton that before 1996 , Gas and the exhaust from automobiles contained lead. More lead will be found in dirt in area's of highertraffic. The good news is testing your soil for lead is easy and can be done for around $300. Contact ETC for more info...
  • Keep crafting and hobby supplies secure: Solder, bullets, stained glass framing material, fishing sinkers and lures, and other hobby objects could contain significant amounts of lead. Keeping these materials far from tiny hands is advised.
  • Renovate Safely: Sanding, Cutting, replacing windows, and more can create lead dust which is a household hazards. If you plan on renovating be sure to use an EPA certified agency, or get Lead training your self. Lead RRP classes are fast, cheap, and only take one day to ensure safety for five years. Read more about Lead RRP Classes...
  • Be mindful of workplace hazards: If you work in a industry with a heavy amount of lead exposure, take care in where you leave your laundry, as you could track lead dust around the house.dust, and water for lead.

Share and print this helpful Infographic if you have concerns about lead paint exposure in your home!