Lead Safe Certification

Lead poisoning is a public health crisis with a housing solution. If we proactively create lead safe homes, children won’t be exposed to lead-based paint hazards in the home. The Lead Safe Certification is a proven, low-cost approach to prevent lead poisoning.

Creating lead safe homes with the Lead Safe Certification

  • Any home built before 1978 is reasonably presumed to contain lead-based paint. Residential rental units built before 1978 must have a Lead Safe Certification from the City of Cleveland’s Department of Building and Housing.
  • The Lead Safe Certification is only valid for two years, after which rental property owners must re-apply for certification.

What do you have to do to obtain lead safe certification?

  • In order to receive the certification, the unit must be lead safe, lead hazards must be remediated within the home and the unit must be inspected by an independent, certified Clearance Technician.
  • Property owners can hire Renovation, Repair, & Painting (RRP) Certified Contractors for lead remediation, or obtain RRP certification to complete work on their properties themselves.
  • Pre-1978 rental properties with more than 20 rental units will only be required to inspect a portion of the units.

WHO IS EXEMPT from lead safe certification?

  • Properties built after 1978 are not required to obtain lead safe certification.
  • Non-rental property owners are not required to obtain lead safe certification, but are strongly encouraged to follow the same Lead Clearance process and ensure your home is lead safe.
  • Unoccupied rental units are also not required to obtain lead safe certification, as long as the unit is unoccupied and the owner does not receive rent or anything else of value for the unit. The owner must file an affidavit annually that the unit is unoccupied and that the owner does not receive rent or anything else of value for the unit.
  • Rental units that have been abated of all lead hazards are not required to obtain lead safe certification if a comprehensive lead risk assessment has been conducted and submitted. Abatement lasts for 20 years, after which the unit must be assessed again for lead hazards.

Looking for a lead safe worker? 

The Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition has created a list of vetted professionals that have been trained to support you through the Lead Safe Certification process.

Learn More

Monitoring the Impact

By law, the City of Cleveland will automatically review the impact of the Lead Safe Certification every year to identify any other negative, unintended consequences. If negative impacts are occurring or have occurred, the City will re-evaluate the Lead Safe Certification and work toward eliminating any negative impacts. 

Contact Us

Do you have questions about the Lead Safe Certification or need assistance navigating the process?

Contact Us by Phone

833 - 601 - LEAD (5323)

Visit The Lead Safe Resource Center

4600 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44103


Monday through Friday 8 AM - 5 PM

Occasionally open Saturday and Evenings - Visit Events & Trainings