What is Radon?
Radon is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that is a potential health hazard. It is produced naturally when uranium in rocks and soil decays. Radon can enter buildings through cracks in foundations, walls, floors and other openings. When high levels of radon are present indoors, it can increase the risk of lung cancer.
If you are a renter, you have certain rights when it comes to radon testing. Here are some important things you should know:
Landlords are required to provide a safe and healthy living environment for their tenants. This includes testing for radon levels and taking any necessary measures to reduce levels if they are found to be high. As of June 30, 2023, any multifamily dwelling with government funding is required to test 25% of the ground floor units.
Landlords are required to disclose to tenants any knowledge of elevated radon levels in the building. If radon testing has not been done, tenants have the right to request testing
Tenants have the right to request radon testing in their unit. If the landlord refuses to perform the test, the tenant can contact their local health department for assistance.
The cost of radon testing and mitigation is typically the responsibility of the landlord. However, landlords may pass on the cost to tenants through rent increases. Radon test kits are free during the months of January and February at your local Extension office. The test kits are also available for purchase for $11 throughout the year at your local Extension office.
If high levels of radon are found, the landlord is responsible for mitigating the problem. Mitigation may involve sealing cracks and openings in the building, installing a radon mitigation system, or other measures to reduce radon levels.
Tenants have a responsibility to allow access to their unit for radon testing and mitigation if necessary. Failure to comply with these requests may result in legal action.
If a landlord fails to address high levels of radon, tenants have the right to take legal action to force compliance.
In conclusion, renters have the right to a safe and healthy living environment, including protection from the potential hazards of radon. By understanding your rights and responsibilities, you can ensure that your living space is free from radon contamination. If you have any questions or concerns, contact ChrisK@unr.edu at Extension’s Nevada Radon Education Program.
“Renters have the right to a safe and healthy living environment. By understanding your rights and responsibilities, you can ensure that your living space is free from radon contamination.”