When a landlord renovates occupied rental units or common areas in buildings constructed before 1978, EPA regulations require that current tenants receive lead hazard information within 60 days of the date the renovation will begin. (EPA regulations define "renovation" as any change that disturbs painted surfaces, with some exceptions such as minor repairs and emergency renovations.) These regulations were developed under the federal Toxic Substances Control Act and became effective in June 1999.
If the renovation is taking place in an occupied rental unit, the renovator (landlord or outside contractor) must give tenants in the unit a copy of the EPA pamphlet "Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home." If common areas will be affected, the renovator must distribute a notice to every rental unit in the building, describing the nature and location of the renovation work and the dates work is expected to begin and end.
For all the information and explanations the savvy landlord needs, get Every Landlord's Legal Guide, by Marcia Stewart, Ralph Warner and Janet Portman (Nolo), which covers a wide range of issues, including fair housing, repairs, sublets, screening for good tenants, and environmental hazards.