About the Lead Safe Certificate

The City of Cleveland in 2019 enacted legislation that requires all rental property build prior to 1978 to be certified Lead Safe.  There are two types of tests authorized by the City and they are very different in their results.

The City started enforcement of this ordinance in March of 2021 rolling this out over multiple ZIP codes.  Full implementation will occur by December 31, 2022.  In order to register your rental property, or obtain relief (eviction) in Cleveland Municipal Court Landlords must show proof of Lead Safe Certification.  The court retains the right under the law to prohibit your re-rental until such time as you come into compliance.


Dust wipe test on window sill

2 Year Certificate

The Two Year Certificate is done via a Clearance Exam and Dust Wipe Test. Each Rental unit is subject to an exterior inspection and a 13 swab interior inspection. The primary interior areas of focus are The window well, window sill and floor adjacent to the window.

20 Year XRF test

Best suited for remodeled properties and those built after 1960. Full Paint testing and Risk Assessment via XRF is the gold standard in lead based paint detection. If a property passes this exam with its tighter tolerances the certificate is good for twenty years. While the certificate costs more upfront, in almost all cases it is much less on a cost/unit/year basis.