Montgomery County will require radon testing in rental housing, and the results must be disclosed to tenants beginning July 1, 2023. If a high level of radon is detected, landlords must act to reduce it.
The bill that was approved Tuesday, requires radon testing of basement and ground-level multifamily and single-family rental housing and disclosure and mitigation of radon hazards that are at or above Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended levels. The testing must be done before renters move in.
The county already requires sellers of single-family homes to test for radon, and the results must be provided to the buyer before the lease is completed.
“I am proud of the collaboration on this bill that prioritized the health and welfare of our residents,” said Councilmember Craig Rice in a statement. “Our renters should be able to ensure their home is safe from the presence of high radon levels and the increased risk exposure brings to contracting lung cancer.”
According to the bill, landlords must provide the test results indicating the radon levels have been reduced. It also spells out that the landlord is responsible for costs of retesting the unit and any follow up.
Radon may cause lung cancer. It is a naturally occurring radioactive gas found in soil and rocks. Radon can enter homes and buildings from the ground and seep through drains, cracks or other holes in the foundation.
According to the EPA, Montgomery County is in Zone One, which means that it is at a higher risk.
— Montgomery Council (@MoCoCouncilMD) November 2, 2022