If you sell or transfer single-family residential real estate in Minnesota on—or any time after—January 1, 2014, then you and your buyer and seller clients will need to understand and comply with the new Minnesota Radon Awareness Act.
Note: This month I will cover the basic disclosure requirements of the Minnesota Radon Awareness Act. Next month in Part 2, I’ll discuss your duties as a real estate licensee, when a radon disclosure is required—and not required—and the liabilities for failing to properly disclose.
I appreciate the generous assistance and support from the staff of the Indoor Air Unit of the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) in writing this two-part series of article.
Because your residential buyer and seller clients will also be affected by this law, you will have to inform them about their responsibilities, duties, and choices, and you are responsible for providing your buyer clients with a radon disclosure given to you by the seller. This course will cover the details of those responsibilities.
1. Radon disclosure
Sellers will need to disclose whether there is a known presence of radon in their homes before signing an agreement to sell or transfer residential real property. The seller must make this disclosure in writing to the buyer, including any knowledge the seller has of radon concentrations in the dwelling.
The radon disclosure must include:
(1) whether a radon test or tests have occurred on the real property;
(2) the most current records and reports pertaining to radon concentrations within
(3) a description of any radon concentrations, mitigation, or remediation;
(4) information regarding the radon mitigation system, including system description
and documentation, if such system has been installed in the dwelling; and
(5) a radon warning statement [the required text will follow shortly].
Your disclosure duties as a real estate licensee – The seller may instruct you, as their agent, to provide this disclosure to potential buyers. This is stipulated in the Act as follows:
“A seller may provide the written disclosure required under this section to a real estate licensee representing or assisting a prospective buyer. The written disclosure provided to the real estate licensee representing or assisting a prospective buyer is considered to have been provided to the prospective buyer. If the written disclosure is provided to the real estate licensee representing or assisting the prospective buyer, the real estate licensee must provide a copy to the prospective buyer.”
Notice that the law says “…licensee representing or assisting the prospective buyer…” If you have an agency relationship with the prospective buyer, you are representing that buyer. If you are helping buyers negotiate or offer to purchase property, and you are not representing those buyers, you are probably assisting them.
2. Radon warning statement
The radon warning statement must include the following language:
“Radon Warning Statement – The Minnesota Department of Health strongly recommends that ALL homebuyers have an indoor radon test performed prior to purchase or taking occupancy, and recommends having the radon levels mitigated if elevated radon concentrations are found. Elevated radon concentrations can easily be reduced by a qualified, certified, or licensed, if applicable, radon mitigator. Every buyer of any interest in residential real property is notified that the 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 overall. The seller of any interest in residential real property is required to provide the buyer with any information on radon test results of the dwelling.”
3. MDH Publication
Sellers must provide the buyer with a Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) publication entitled “Radon in Real Estate Transactions.”
Next month in Part 2, I’ll discuss your duties as a real estate licensee, when a radon disclosure is required—and not required—and the liabilities for failing to properly disclose.
The Minnesota Association of REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 17,000 members who are active in all aspects of the real estate industry.