Should a buyer initial the lead-based paint addendum even when the seller has provided no information or documents?

QUESTION: My buyer has received a Lead-Based Paint or Lead-Based Paint Hazard Addendum (Standard Form 2A9-T) from the seller, and it indicates that the seller has no knowledge of lead-based paint and no reports or records to share. Does my buyer need to initial line (c) of the form? I am worried that if my client initials this line that it will be an affirmation that they have actually received something, when in fact they have not.

ANSWER: Yes, the buyer should initial line (c) on Form 2A9-T, even if the seller has provided no information or documents. Pursuant to HUD’s “Disclosure Rule,” 24 CFR 35.92, each contract to sell a residence built prior to 1978 must include an attachment containing certain elements. One of those elements is “a statement by the purchaser affirming receipt of the information set out in” lines (a) and (b) of Form 2A9-T, even if the only information in those lines is a representation by the seller that they have no information or documents to provide. By initialing line (c), the buyer is only providing an acknowledgement of the seller’s representations in lines (a) and (b), as required by the rule.

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