The Law Society of Ireland’s decision to include three questions relating to radon gas in their 2017 Conditions of Sale document has been welcomed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas linked to lung cancer. It is formed in the ground by the radioactive decay of uranium which is present in all rocks and soils. Radon is an invisible gas with no smell or taste, therefore it can only be measured with special detectors.
“We are really pleased to have radon gas highlighted in this manner” said Stephanie Long, senior scientist with the EPA. “We have been campaigning for radon to be considered when homes are bought and sold for some time. Radon is a serious public health issue so raising the question of radon when a home is being sold is an important step in reducing the risk. Radon is linked to lung cancer and the risk of this cancer can be significant where radon levels are elevated”.
Mr Joe Thomas, Law Society of Ireland, said, “The Law Society is aware that radon gas can accumulate in building to levels which can be a risk to health. With a view to protecting the public and prospective homebuyers, we have included radon specifically in the new edition of the Conditions of Sale document to assist in heightening awareness of the dangers of this radioactive gas.”
The revised document means that the vendor’s solicitor will ask the vendor the following questions:
Has a radon test been carried out?
If a radon test has been carried out, please supply the report.
Has any action to reduce radon levels been undertaken?
This information will then be passed on to the buyer’s solicitor. If the buyer has any concerns their solicitor will advise that they get expert advice. There is however, no requirement for a homeowner to test or remediate their home for radon before selling it.