Maryland’s Lead Paint Exterior Winter Waiver

Paint-related work on the exterior of homes is not practical during the colder months and therefore, Maryland offers an exterior winter waiver option for affected pre-1978 rental properties. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) defines the exterior winter waiver as an inspection option used to temporarily delay a property owner’s obligation to perform exterior paint stabilization necessary to meet the Lead Paint Risk Reduction Standards. The exterior winter waiver option period typically lasts between November 1st and April 1st.

Owners can obtain an exterior winter waiver by contacting the local code official in the county or municipality where the property is located (MDE is not authorized to issue exterior winter waivers). If no local code official exists, the property owner must contact the Department of Housing and Community Development. Baltimore City has implemented an automatic waiver period beginning November 1st and ending April 1st.

After obtaining the exterior winter waiver, an inspector can skip the visual inspection portion of the exterior for full risk reduction compliance. The inspector must ensure that the inspection certificate they issue has the exterior waiver option checked. Please note: The exterior winter waiver must be obtained prior to completing an inspection.

At the conclusion of the waiver period, all defective paint must be repaired/stabilized and/or removed by an accredited lead paint contractor (under the supervision of an accredited lead paint supervisor). The property must pass the re-inspection within 30 days after the end of the waiver period (usually April 30th).

Keep in mind:

The exterior winter waiver cannot be used when issuing a limited lead free certificate. To qualify for a limited lead free certificate, the exterior of the property must not have any chipping, peeling or flaking paint regardless of when the inspection occurs.