Over the last few years, there has been a push for more awareness of radon gas in homes. What it is, where it can be present, how it affects human health, how it gets into a home, how to test for radon in a home, etc. With this raised awareness of the dangers and presence of radon all over the country, has come a change in many state laws concerning radon in home inspections.
The state of Illinois has four laws concerning radon in real estate.
Radon Resistant Construction Act
This law was put into effect on June 1, 2013. The Radon Resistant Construction Act states that all new construction of single-family homes or structures with 2 or less apartments, condos, or townhomes must have a passive radon pipe installed. The pipe can be installed by any contractor or subcontractor, but for anyone wanting to activate the system with a radon vent fan, or wanting to upgrade to an active mitigation system the work must be performed by an IEMA Licensed Radon Mitigation Contractor.
Radon Testing in Daycare Centers
As of January 1, 2013 all licensed daycare facilities and in home daycares must test for Radon. As of January 1, 2014 all types of daycare facilities are mandated to show proof of Radon testing being conducted within the past three years on the property when they apply for an initial license or renewal.
Law to Protect Renters
Since June 28, 2011 landlords are required to inform all renters in writing before a lease agreement is signed if the property has undergone radon testing. They also must communicate if a Radon hazard may exist. If the property has not been tested for Radon the potential renter has a right to conduct a DIY test or ask the landlord to have a licensed radon contractor perform a test. If high levels of radon are found the renter is responsible to communicate this to the landlord in writing.
Illinois Radon Awareness Act
Effective on January 1, 2008 sellers must disclose if a home has been previously tested for radon and share the results of such testing to the buyer. This law does not require a radon test to be done as part of the inspection process or prior to the sale of a home or that a mitigation system be installed if the home is tested and tests high for radon. Sellers must also provide information about indoor radon exposure as well as information on radon being the leading cause of non-smoker lung cancer and the second leading cause of lung cancer overall.
The need and requirement for radon testing can become confusing and overwhelming pretty quickly, but there are many resources to help you answer your questions about radon testing. The article “Addressing the Radon Challenges in Home Inspection” written by Bruce Snead of Kansas State University gives some insight into the importance and requirements of radon testing. It also provides a helpful website to address frequently asked questions: sosradon.org
Some real estate professionals and others will communicate that radon testing is required prior to the sale of a home, but this is not the case in Illinois. Though it is not mandatory for the sale of a home, radon testing is recommended and highly encouraged if a home has not been tested as radon can be present anywhere.
Of course, if you have any questions about home inspections and radon testing in Champaign and surrounding central Illinois please contact us at any time.