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Radon: is this anything to worry about?

Radon is a very slowly released radioactive gas and overexposure can have health implications.  It is naturally occurring.  It should not be necessary to withdraw your offer if radon is detected in small quantities.

Some areas are more susceptible to it than others.  We would ask the Seller’s solicitor  if they, or their client are aware of any previous radon testing.  If the property was built after about 1990, precautions may be in place to stop the gas from entering the house.  If neither apply, then consider requiring a “radon bond”.  This is an agreement between Buyer and Seller where a sum of money roughly equivalent to the cost of building in radon precautions would be held back by the Seller’s or Buyer’s conveyancer on completion for a period of time.

A proper radon test can then be carried out over a period of about 6 months.  If the radon reading is above the safe level, the cost of installing the protective membrane, radon pump or other recommended means of protecting the property would be covered by the bond money.  If the test reveals that there is no cause for concern,  the bond money would be released to the Seller.

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