City of Grand Rapids Rental Certification Lead Ordinance Follow Up

A couple of weeks ago, we made a video about the new lead ordinance passed by the City of Grand Rapids earlier this year. Today, we’re going to discuss some key points from one of the recent meetings regarding this ordinance.

The slides you’ll see in this presentation are taken from the official city website. None of these slides are my own content; we’ve simply used them to create this informative video. The video of the meeting is available here.

Property Certification:

  • If you’ve had a property certified within a year, the certification will transfer upon sale. This is an extension from the previous 90-day limit.
  • However, a six-year certification will transfer as a four-year certification, so keep this in mind.
  • If lead was found, you need to update and send the lead addendum to your resident.

Lead Inspection:

  • The city now requires lead dust sampling inside the property.
  • Third-party inspectors, not city inspectors, will conduct these inspections, similar to mechanical safety inspections.
  • If your rental certification is due in the first quarter of 2024 (January to March), consider scheduling it in Q4 2023 to avoid the initial rush.
  • If they find more than two square feet of deteriorated paint in any room or more than 10% of a component’s surface area (e.g., a window), you won’t pass the visual inspection.
lead based paint inspection enforcement threashold

Lead Dust Sampling:

  • Dust samples will be taken from windowsills and floors in up to four rooms.
  • The city has specific limits: less than 10 micrograms per square foot on floors and less than 100 micrograms per square foot on windowsills.
lead based paint inspection

Certification Process:

STEP 1: City notifies owner of need to re-certify >90 days in advance.

STEP 2: Property owner prepares unit to pass inspection by addressing any touch-up painting or lead remediation if required.

STEP 3: Initial Certification Inspection is conducted, including visual paint inspection.

STEP 4: If no deteriorated paint observed inside the home above the LBP Enforement Threshold, property owner contracts for Lead-Dust Screening to be conducted. If visual paint inspection citations are issued, go to STEP A (see failing the visual inspection below)

STEP 5: Lead-Dust Screening to be conducted

STEP 6: Lead-Dust Screening contractor files report to the city

STEP 7: If the property passes the screening, the lead portion of the recertification is complete. If the property fails the screening, the property owner must reclean the areas that failed and re-test those areas until the property passes.

After passing both inspections, your recertification is complete.

Failing the Visual Inspection:

If you fail the visual inspection, you must follow this process:

STEP A: If the visual inspection found deteriorated interior pain above the LBP Enforcement Threshold, specific citations will be issued.

STEP B: Property owner causes repairs to be made using lead-safe work practices.

STEP C: Property owner schedules a dust clearance sampling conducted to federal RRP standard.

STEP D: Dust clearance sampling conducted.

STEP E: Clearance contractor files report to the city

STEP F: If the property passes clearance, the lead portion of the recertification is complete. If the property fails clearance, the property owner must either complete the needed repairs and/or further clean the home and have another dust clearance sampling conducted until the property passes.

STEP G: Once the property passes clearance, it moved on with the certification process.

Federal standards might change, so passing the visual inspection is crucial long-term.

Helpful flow charts for the process the city provided:

Did the home pass visual inspection for deteriorated paint
did the home fail visual inspection for deteriorated paint

Rental Property Owners Association (RPOA):

  • Many attendees at the meeting weren’t aware of the RPOA.
  • If you’re not already a member, consider joining; they work to protect private property rights at the government level.

In conclusion, this new lead ordinance in Grand Rapids will come into effect on January 1st. Finding certified lead testers might be a challenge, so start looking for one if you have multiple properties. If you have any questions or need more information, feel free to reach out to me. Have a great day!

Looking for a property management company in Grand Rapids?

If you have questions about the rental property registration process or other property management questions, feel free to reach out to Jon at or (616) 329-6318.