Before the lease is signed, landlords are required to provide certain information to potential new tenants about the unit they’re planning to rent. These are informally called “mandatory disclosures,” and they exist on the federal, state, and even sometimes local level.
All U.S. landlords must abide by the federal lead disclosure rule
There’s only one mandatory disclosure that applies to every landlord in the U.S.—the lead disclosure rule. Anyone renting out a property built before 1978 must alert all potential tenants to the presence of any lead paint in the building, as well as any reports on past lead paint hazards that have already been dealt with. They must also provide new tenants with an EPA-approved pamphlet about the hazards of lead-based paint. This must happen before the lease is signed.
Many other disclosures are required by state laws
Most states require landlords to disclose even more information to tenants before they sign the lease. Although the specifics vary from state to state (and even from city to city), there are some disclosures that are fairly common. These include:
- Information about the installation and maintenance of carbon monoxide and smoke detector and alarms
- History of health and environmental hazards, such as bedbugs or mold
- The property’s policy on smoking
- Information about security deposits, including where it will be stored, whether it will earn interest, and how long the landlord has to return it
- Any existing damages to the property, either through move-in checklists or inspections
Choose your state from the dropdown menu at the top of the page to learn more about the specific landlord disclosures required where you live.
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.