Agenda Item 7D
Robert H. Drummer, Senior Legislative Attorney
Action: Bill 31-15, Sale of Real Property - Radon Test - Single-family home
recommendation (3-0): enact the Bill with amendments.
Bill 31-15, Sale of Real Property - Radon Test - Single-family home, sponsored by Lead
Sponsors Councilmembers Rice and Katz and Co-sponsors Councilmembers EIrich and Hucker,
was introduced on June 16, 2015. A public hearing was held on July 14 and Transportation,
Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (T&E) Committee worksessions were held on July 23 and
Radon is a radioactive gas found in the air that comes from the natural breakdown of
uranium in soil, rock, and water. High levels of radon can cause serious illnesses and often occur
in single family homes in the County. Although radon remediation from a single family home is
possible, many people purchase a home without knowing ifhigh levels of radon exist in the home.
Radon is already listed as one of the hazardous materials that a seller must disclose to the buyer of
a single-family home if the seller has actual knowledge ofits existence under State law. See, Md.
Real Prop. §§10-702, 10-603, and 10-604. As the County Attorney's Office pointed
out, State law does not create an affmnative duty for the seller to discover if radon exists in the
house. See the County Attorney Bill Review Memorandum at ©5-6.
Bill 31-15 would complement State law by requiring the seller of a single-family home to
test for radon and give the buyer a copy of the radon test results.
would also require the seller
to provide the buyer with an estimate to reduce radon under certain circumstances.
There were no speakers at the public hearing on July 14. The Council did receive written
testimony on July 21 from the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors (GCAAR) opposing
the Bill. See ©20-22.