Call for Action: Tenant radon disclosure bill an overreach

Hand drawing the symbol for the chemical element radon

Source: Bigstock.com

Illinois REALTORS® is issuing its first Call for Action of the 2016 legislative session today in response to a bill which would dramatically alter rules for property owners who deal with rentals.

Take part now in telling your lawmaker this legislation needs to be stopped. It could come up for vote as early as today, so time is of an essence. This link will take you to a form that you fill out in just moments and then the message will be delivered to policymakers.

Act now to protect the industry.

Act now to protect the industry.

HB 4528, alters the Radon Awareness Act and inserts new rules which go beyond the original law. The proposal, which was filed by Rep. Emily McAsey, D-Romeoville, provides:

“… that before a lease is signed, a landlord shall provide to each tenant in a dwelling unit any records or reports pertaining to radon concentrations within the dwelling unit that indicate a radon hazard. …  that a lease may be terminated under specified circumstances involving radon hazards.”

 

  • HB 4528 requires landlords to provide a dire disclosure to every tenant, which includes a statement that the property may expose the tenant to radon, “which is the leading cause of death in private homes.” This statement seems rather extreme, and we have not seen any data to back up such a claim. This statement is not even included in the Radon Disclosure Form that sellers must give buyers!
  • radon-mapHB 4528 applies to all rental units, even units on the upper floors of high-rise buildings, where radon risks tend to be substantially lower (and, some believe, not at a high enough level to be a concern where it does exist). Again, current law applies only to rental units below the third floor of a building.
  • HB 4528 includes written and oral leases in the new Act, no matter what the term. So, even if a tenant has a short-term, oral lease of 14 days, the same disclosure is required. This seems like unnecessary regulatory over-kill.
  • HB 4528 allows tenants to break their lease if a radon hazard is not mitigated by the landlord within 120 days…but the bill allows tenants to do mitigation themselves with the landlord’s permission. What if failure to mitigate is the failure of the tenant to do so?
  • HB 4528 contemplates that home rule units can impose radon requirements that are even more stringent than what is outlined in the new Tenants Radon Protection Act.

Radon can be found throughout the state, although parts of Illinois have less of the gas, according to the EPA. The city of Chicago, for instance is in an area with lower levels of radon. So, too, is the southern tip of Illinois. Mitigation for a home can cost $1,200 or more.

 

This entry was posted in News, Uncategorized by Jon Broadbooks. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jon Broadbooks

Jon Broadbooks is Vice President/Communications for Illinois REALTORS®. He serves as editor of online and print content for the association's communications including the Illinois REALTOR® magazine and e-newsletters. He conducts spokesperson training seminars and oversees website development for the Association.

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