Rentals and Radon
Radioactive radon gas is just as dangerous a situation for tenants who rent from a landlord as it is for individual homeowners. Landlords who offer residential housing for a monthly fee have the responsibility to ensure their tenants are living in a safe environment.
Situations where a tenant needs to be concerned about the dangers of radioactive radon gas would be in basement, ground level or first floor apartments be it a brick apartment building, multi-family home or the like. In addition, many rent single family homes.
If you are a tenant and are concerned about radon in your living space, the question of how to proceed can be confusing since you don’t own the property. Speak to your landlord and ask if they have ever tested the property for radon. The landlord or management company will have the information and you have a right to have it as well. Some states have NO RULES for radon and others are very proactive making sure every property is tested prior to tenant occupation of the space. Find out if your states has any guidelines to further support your request for testing.
If the landlord feels radon is not an issue, what is your recourse? Many are not aware of the dangers of radon. That being said, share the information so your landlord can be educated as well as offer them resources such as the EPA site for increased knowledge. If your landlord will not test the property, call in a professional to test or order test kits from an approved EPA vendor. If levels are elevated and your health is at risk, share this with your landlord and ask for action.
As a tenant, you have rights! You can request a radon mitigation system be installed followed by re-testing to assure the levels are reduced adequately. Be proactive…this is your health! Long term exposure to elevated levels of radon gas have been proven to cause lung cancer. This threat is completely preventable with proper measures taken.