Lead Certification

The importance of lead safe living

Lead is a neurotoxin that adversely impacts human health. It is particularly dangerous to children and cause developmental delays and impediments that result in significantly reduced academic performance, increased juvenile justice involvement, and other lifelong consequences.

Because of the age of Cleveland’s housing stock and the disinvestment in it, children growing up in Cleveland are particularly susceptible to lead poisoning and its negative consequences. Recognizing this, Cleveland City Council in 2019 passed legislation that requires owners of rental property in the City to prove that their dwelling units are safe from lead hazards.

The full text of the ordinance is available here.

How to Certify your Property

Property owners or their agents must engage an independent contractor to perform a lead inspection on their property. The Lead Safe Ordinance allows for two types of inspection: either a Lead Clearance Examination or a Lead Risk Assessment Inspection. It is up to the property owner and their service provider to determine the most suitable inspection type for their property.

Following inspection, the inspection report along with the Lead Safe Certificate Application form (available for download here) must be submitted to the City of Cleveland Department of Building and Housing. Application packets may be submitted via email to LeadCertCLE@Clevelandohio.gov or via postal mail to: City of Cleveland Department of Building and Housing Division of Records Administration; 601 Lakeside Avenue E., Rm517; Cleveland, Ohio 44114. Applications must be submitted (email send date or postmarked) no later than 90 days after the inspection date.

There is no fee for application and certification must be renewed every two years from the date of initial certification. Please see below for a schedule of when your property is due for initial certification.

Need Help?

This is a new process for our landlord community and our residents alike. In recognition of this, the City of Cleveland has worked diligently with numerous non-profit and other community partners to provide a plethora of financial and other resources. We encourage you to consult the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition Website for guidance on how to obtain financial assistance, how to find a contractor, how to ensure your home remains lead safe and other questions you may have around lead safe practices. You can also access a database of state certified lead safe service providers through the Ohio Department of Health website.

By ordinance, all residential rental property in the City of Cleveland must be registered with the Department of Building and Housing. The registration must be renewed annually. To check the status of or to renew a registration and to register a property for the first time under a new owner, please visit our Rental Registration Web App.

For questions regarding the process of obtaining your Lead Safe Certificate, contact the City directly by phone at 216.664.2274 or by email to LeadCertCLE@Clevelandohio.gov.