Q: I’m attempting to buy a second home in Southwest Florida. The home is 7 years old, and passed the engineer report inspection with flying colors; however, the Radon gas registered at 6.7, which is above the EPA limits of 4.0. The seller refuses to fix the problem, which would cost between $1,500 and $3,000. I called the State of Florida, as well as the bank, and other agencies to see what I should do, and I get the feeling that this is a “buyer beware!” situation. Radon is the second largest lung cancer carcinogen, right behind smoking, and, according to the EPA, causes 20,000 deaths per year. Can you advise me of the realtor’s, bank’s, or state agency’s responsibilities when it comes to the passing of title? I can’t believe how critical it is that this Radon test is not mandatory.
A: Testing for Radon is very important. Depending on the area, Radon can be rare, or quite prevalent. Most buyers will conduct a Radon test before entering into a contract to purchase. If you are already in contract, check with your legal adviser on the contract to determine if the contract or local law requires the seller to correct this at their expense.