MAR Legal Hotline

Notes From the Legal Hotline: Radon

Common Questions on Radon answered by the staff of the MAR Legal Hotline.

Q. Is the seller required to allow buyers to test for radon in Massachusetts?

A. No. Unlike lead paint, the seller is not required to allow the buyer to conduct a radon test. Unless the parties have otherwise agreed, if a test is conducted and the buyer is concerned about the level of radon detected, the seller is not obligated to abate the problem.

Buyers wishing to add a radon contingency should be sure to include that contingency in the agreement to purchase, and be agreed upon by the seller.

Q. If a buyer backs out of a transaction because of elevated radon levels, is the listing agent required to disclose this to future prospective buyers?

A. Yes. Attorney General regulations explaining Chapter 93A provide that it is a violation when an agent, “fails to disclose to a buyer or prospective buyer any fact, the disclosure of which may have influenced the buyer or prospective buyer not to enter into the transaction.”  It requires that a real estate agent volunteer these facts, even if not asked, preferably in writing. Elevated radon levels in a home would be considered a fact under Chapter 93A, and therefore must be disclosed if known.

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