How Will the CO Senate Bill 23-206 Radon Law Affect Me?
Date Published: June 12, 2023
If you are a part of the real estate industry, you are no doubt aware of radon gas and its dangers in the residential setting. This naturally occurring radioactive gas has been proven to be a serious in-home health risk, and prolonged exposure can lead to lung cancer. Members of the Colorado General Assembly have recognized these realities. And they have determined that standards should be put into law that will help increase radon awareness in real estate transactions. That is where Senate Bill 23-206 comes into play.
There are many different roles in the world of real estate – sellers, buyers, agents, landlords, and tenants. You may be asking yourself, “How will this bill affect me?” Well in this blog we will take an in depth look at Bill 23-206 and help to set things straight!
What is Senate Bill 23-206?
This bill essentially establishes a law that will require more transparency about radon during a housing transaction. Depending on whether a house is being sold or rented will dictate what guidelines need to be followed. As of June 5, 2023 Governor Polis signed the bill into law, and it officially took effect on August 7, 2023.
How Will Bill 23-206 Affect Me?
Sellers, now that this act is in effect, it will be your responsibility to disclose a few important pieces of information to your prospective buyers. First, the contract of sale will need to include the following disclosure:
THE COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT STRONGLY RECOMMENDS THAT ALL HOME BUYERS HAVE AN INDOOR RADON TEST PERFORMED BEFORE PURCHASING RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY AND RECOMMENDS HAVING THE RADON LEVELS MITIGATED IF ELEVATED RADON CONCENTRATIONS ARE FOUND. ELEVATED RADON CONCENTRATIONS CAN BE REDUCED BY A RADON MITIGATION PROFESSIONAL. RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY MAY PRESENT EXPOSURE TO DANGEROUS LEVELS OF INDOOR RADON GAS THAT MAY PLACE THE OCCUPANTS AT RISK OF DEVELOPING RADON-INDUCED LUNG CANCER.RADON, A CLASS A HUMAN CARCINOGEN, IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF LUNG CANCER IN NONSMOKERS AND THE SECOND LEADING CAUSE OF LUNG CANCER OVERALL. THE SELLER OF RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY IS REQUIRED TO PROVIDE THE BUYER WITH ANY KNOWN INFORMATION ON RADON TEST RESULTS OF THE RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY.
Sellers will also need to disclose any knowledge of radon concentrations. They are responsible with notifying what tests, if any, have been conducted. They must disclose any recent records about radon levels in the home. And if any mitigation systems have been installed, the seller must provide any relevant documentation or descriptions.
It is the buyer’s responsibility to read, acknowledge and sign the above mentioned documents. The buyer should make sure they are informed about radon and whether or not the house has known concentrations of the gas.
Colorado is known to have high radon throughout the state. As stated in the disclosure above, the Department of Public Health and Environment strongly recommends having a professional conduct a radon test before closing on a home. If you do opt to get a radon test, Scott Home Inspection offers radon testing as a stand-alone service or as an add-on service in addition to our pre-purchase or pre-listing home inspections.
In the case that the seller fails to disclose the necessary documentation, Bill 23-206 states that “the buyer has a claim for relief against the seller for damages to the buyer resulting from the failure plus court costs.”
Real Estate Agents
It is the buyer’s/listing agents’ duty to make sure that both sellers and buyers adhere to the rules set forth in the bill. You are the experts, so be sure that everyone is on the same page!
Landlords also have obligations similar to sellers. First of all, the lease agreement must have a similar disclosure:
THE COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT STRONGLY RECOMMENDS THAT ALL TENANTS HAVE AN INDOOR RADON TEST PERFORMED BEFORE LEASING RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY AND RECOMMENDS HAVING THE RADON LEVELS MITIGATED IF ELEVATED RADON CONCENTRATIONS ARE FOUND. ELEVATED RADON CONCENTRATIONS CAN BE REDUCED BY A RADON MITIGATION PROFESSIONAL. RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY MAY PRESENT EXPOSURE TO DANGEROUS LEVELS OF INDOOR RADON GAS THAT MAY PLACE THE OCCUPANTS AT RISK OF DEVELOPING RADON-INDUCED LUNG CANCER.RADON, A CLASS A HUMAN CARCINOGEN, IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF LUNG CANCER IN NONSMOKERS AND THE SECOND LEADING CAUSE OF LUNG CANCER OVERALL. A LANDLORD IS REQUIRED TO PROVIDE THE TENANT WITH ANY KNOWN INFORMATION ON RADON TEST RESULTS OF THE RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY.
Landlords must also clearly disclose information about any known radon concentrations, as well as records of any recent radon tests. If mitigation measures have been taken, landlords must provide details and documentation about the installed system.
Also, similar to a seller, a landlord must provide the latest version of the Colorado DPHE brochure about “Radon and Real Estate Transactions in Colorado.”
Tenants are obligated to acknowledge and sign off on all the radon documents provided by their landlord. As stated in the disclosure above, the DPHE strongly recommends that tenants test the rental property for radon levels by a certified professional before entering the lease.
In the case that test results come back with radon levels equal to or more than 4.0 picocuries/L, the landlord is obligated to install a mitigation system within 180 days.
If the landlord fails to install a sufficient mitigation system in the allotted 180-day period of time, the tenant is permitted to void the lease agreement and move out, penalty free. The tenant can also break the lease if the landlord fails to disclose the above mentioned documentation at the time of signing. In this scenario, if the tenant does move out, the landlord would also be obligated to return the security deposit in full along with any necessary rent rebate.
Senate Bill 23-206, An Effort to Strengthen Public Health
As you can see, this new bill really aims at ensuring that extra safety precautions are taken in real estate transactions. The CO General Assembly states that “clear disclosure through stand-alone radon notifications during real estate transactions has been shown to greatly increase voluntary testing and improve public health outcomes.” Based off of this observation, now that the law is in affect, more of Colorado’s population will likely be aware of this health hazard, and thus more likely to take the necessary safety precautions.
At Scott Home Inspection, we are dedicated to helping Colorado Families live in safe, healthy, and comfortable homes. Providing professional and reliable home services to buyers, sellers, agents, landlords and tenants is what we do!
That is why we have a team of NRPP certified specialists who can help you with all your radon testing needs. If you are in need of radon services or any other home inspection, rental inspections, or energy services, visit us online or contact us today!
One of the devices we use to test radon levels.
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Chris Kimmel worked as an Associate Home Inspector for two years, handling numerous services including sewer scope inspections, pest inspections, mold air sample testing, radon testing, and water quality testing. Chris now works with Scott Home Inspection as a Content Writing Specialist.