Landlords in Maine are facing a March 1 deadline to meet a new law requiring testing for radon in rental properties.
The law requires landlords to report to tenants on the results of the mandatory radon tests. A state agency is encouraging tenants who do not hear from their landlords by that date to report the failure.
According to Maine officials, high levels of radon gas occur naturally in Maine soil and water, and can move up into a house from the ground. The house then traps the radon in the air inside. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.
Maine law now requires radon testing in all residential rental properties by March 1, 2014, and unless a mitigation system is installed, a tenant can request a re-test every 10 years.
If tests reveal a high radon concentration — 4 pCi/l (picocuries per liter) or above — and the problem is not mitigated, the landlord or tenant can end the lease with at least 30 days notice.
In some cases, the radon tests can be done by the landlord, so long as the tests are done according to approved protocols which require the radon test devices to be placed in the basement or in ground floor units, and in some upper floor units. Windows and doors must remain closed for 12 hours prior, and during the test, except for normal access.
The landlord must provide written notice about radon hazards and disclose the results of the required radon testing to each tenant, and to Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services. For more detailed information, contact the Maine Center for Disease and Control and Prevention, or visit www.maineradiationcontrol.org and select Radon.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.