NJ Realtor®s has been engaged on this issue for almost 20 years. The original bill was introduced in 2003 by Sen. Ron Rice and over the years we've worked with many legislators and gubernatorial administrations to ensure that this legislation did not have a detrimental impact on the housing market. In February of 2020 Sen.Teresa Ruiz introduced S1147 which would require that a lead paint inspection take place before the sale of a home or tenant turnover. With our apprehensions about the negative effect on the time it may take to close a sale, and the costs that may be incurred, we reached out to the sponsor of the bill to try and come up with a compromise that would result in a more friendly process towards reaching the goal of remediation.
The bill was later substituted with new language that removed the original time-of-sale requirement. The substitution requires lead inspection once there was tenant turnover at a residence or within two years of the bill’s effect date, the need for an inspection would be triggered, and $3.9 million dollars was put aside for grants that property owners would be able to apply for to address the lead-based hazards in the home. The bill also helps to address the lack of lead inspectors in the state by requiring that towns who have a dedicated inspection agency to provide the inspection of the necessary properties. The bill also calls for the Department of Community Affairs to develop materials and a seminar that will be given to relevant stakeholders, like Realtors®, so that they know what is going to be required of them in the process, and what they can do to help address the issues of lead in homes. The bill was signed by Gov. Murphy on July 22, 2021, and the contents of the bill will go into effect one year from the signing date. This bill will help New Jersey move towards having healthier places to live in, without having property owners incur thousands of dollars in remediation costs.