Real Estate Transactions
Radon Risk in Florida Homes and Buildings: A reminder to realtors, renters, property buyers and sellers.
Realtors abide by a code of ethics that binds them to communicate known issues in a property to buyers. Thus, it is required and critical to broaden the awareness about radon risks to the public during real estate transactions.
Real estate transactions provide a unique opportunity for radon testing, because other inspections of property conditions occur at that time (termite, structural integrity, moisture, other indoor air pollutants, etc.). The Notification on Real Estate Documents [Section 404.056(5), Florida Statutes (F.S.)] shall be provided "at time of, or prior to, contract for sale and purchase of any building or execution of a rental agreement". This Statute requires the following statement:
"RADON GAS: Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that, when it has accumulated in a building in sufficient quantities, may present health risks to persons who are exposed to it over time. Levels of radon that exceed federal and state guidelines have been found in buildings in Florida. Additional information regarding radon and radon testing may be obtained from your county health department."
Many realtors network with home inspectors who may also be Florida radon certified. However, not all home inspectors are radon certified. Note that only Florida certified radon businesses and professionals shall provide radon related services for a fee or remuneration. Note that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recommend and now require testing for radon.
Some realtors may feel that radon testing may jeopardize the sale or rental of dwellings or other buildings. This may prove to be a liability. In the past, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) has fined these realtors for failing to provide radon test disclosures to clients, and have ordered them to attend a series of education classes.
Many realtors carry insurance which includes a statement of errors and omissions, and other statements about pre-sale or pre-rental [S.624, F.S.].
Radon risk in Florida dwellings and buildings, and professionals providing radon services, is regulated by Florida Statute. The Notification on Real Estate Documents [Section 404.056(5), Florida Statutes (F.S.)] shall be provided "at time of, or prior to, contract for sale and purchase of any building or execution of a rental agreement". However, "residential transient occupancy is excluded provided that such occupancy is 45 days or less" [S. 509.013(11), F.S.].
Education is a key to reversing misinformation. The department has developed a free video training for realtors about radon, and may provide training at meetings (call 800-543-8279). Additionally, you should know that only Florida certified radon businesses and professionals shall provide radon related services for a fee or other remuneration.
Listings of Florida certified radon businesses and professionals and other radon information is available from the department directly, by telephone at 850-245-4288, 800-543-8279, or by e-mail (Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing [F.S. 668.6076]) or by surface mail delivery.