Radon In The News
There is a lot of conversation out there right now due to the radon laws passed over the last couple of years. The most important thing to know is that if you or one of your clients owns or is buying a tenant-occupied property, the State requires radon testing on this property by March 1, 2014.
Here are some highlights of the regulations:
- For properties that are 3 units or less, only one unit needs to be tested, and the test should be conducted on the lowest livable level.
- For multifamily buildings over three units, the laws are complex, so call the State DHHS Radon Section or me for answers.
Here are some tips:
- In some instances, the landlord may perform the test themselves, see the Maine DHHS Radon Website for more info.
- Not every unit needs to be tested, but at least one on every floor has to be tested, and all that contact the ground must be tested.
- Tenants have to be notified of the testing. If the levels are high, mitigation does not have to be done, but the tenant must be given the option out of the lease.
Two questions that cause the most confusion are:
- Lowest livable level. Regulations state that the test should be completed at the lowest livable level. This is often the basement, but not always. If the basement is unfinished but could be finished into a family room or living space of any kind, the test should be done there. If the basement is not a livable space and doesn’t appear to be made into a finished, livable space, or if the ceiling is less than 6’ high, don’t test in the basement.
- Windows. No matter how many units are in the building, and no matter where the test is taken, all windows are kept closed for 12 hours before testing and for the 48 hours of the test.
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