Should I get Radon Tested?

What do you do about Radon.

Ask if the property has been tested, is a fairly easy one top start. Given that since 2002 radon has been raised as a compulsory question in standard local authority searches. It may well have been tested already.

If it has been tested 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 and workplace buildings is set at 400Bq/m3.

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

How do I know when to get a property tested?

The NRPB (National Radon Protection Board) suggests that 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 reducing the amounts of radon in the building. However, it is suggested where the risk is higher say 10 -30% then the purchaser may want to protect themselves.

If testing has not 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. 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. Where an amount of money is taken back the purchase price 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.