Radon Part 3

What do you do about Radon and the compulsory question?

Since 2002 Radon has been raised as a compulsory question in standard local authority searches. So an easy way to deal with this is to ask if it has been tested.

Interpretation of readings

If so, interpreting the readings may be challenging. The units are measured in Becquerels per cubic meter. In essence the average levels in UK houses is only 20bq/m3. That being said the lower the levels the better. The government has endorsed a recommendation that when 200Bq/m3 is reached. Then levels need to be reduced. Interestingly under the Health and Safety at Work Act the legal duty on an employer/workplace buildings is set at 400Bq/m3.

It is good practise that even when the property has been tested. Then remedial measures put in place then the property is retested. To ensure the levels have been reduced. This could be interesting as properties say post 1999 or extensions constructed recently may have had the detailing installed but may not be functioning properly for example.

The NRPB suggests when the risk is low 1-5% chance of the property having an issue. The purchaser may simply risk the small chance that they may have to spend money later on reducing the amounts of radon in the building. However they suggest where the risk is higher say 10 -30% then the purchaser may want to protect themselves.

What is it has not been tested

If no testing has been carried out you could consider re-negotiating the price to account for any remedial works that may be required. Such as installing the radon barrier and sump with electric fan. Installation of a positive input ventilation system (PIV) system can also be beneficial. You could simply accept that the cost of the property is plus the cost of any remedial repair work required.

Legal advisors may be able to offer a service such as a radon bond or a Radon Retention. This is where an amount of money is taken from the purchase price. It is held back until the test results are received. If the levels are acceptable. The money is released back to the vendor. If the readings are excessive then the money is released to the purchaser to pay for remedial work.