In most cases, responsibility for the safe upkeep of a rental property resides with the landlord unless other provisions are made in a lease. Tenants who notify property owners of issues may have a case for a claim if personal injury occurs because the owner neglected to take action. For one Michigan man, a possibly dangerous situation in his home isn’t a required issue for the landlord. The man hopes a government agency will step in to change that fact.

The man, who rents a home in Michigan, conducted radon tests on his basement. He says that the radon levels in his basement are around 18 to 19 picocuries per liter of air. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that when homes reach radon levels of 4 pCi/L or higher, action be taken to reduce those levels.

The EPA says that around 36 out of 1,000 individuals exposed to 20 pCi/L of radon over a lifetime will develop lung cancer. The risk is much higher for anyone who smokes. The EPA also estimates that 12 percent of homes in Michigan have a radon level that is higher than recommended.

The Michigan man has notified his landlord of the situation, but has not heard back. The tenant says that Michigan laws don’t force landlords to take action regarding high radon levels. An indoor radon specialist says that a mitigation system can be installed. The cost of such a system is between $600 and $1,500. The specialist also says the state encourages landlords and tenants to work together to solve issues regarding radon levels.

Landlords are not required by the state to conduct testing and inform current or future tenants of radon levels, though the state does encourage such behavior. Though residents of rental properties can rely on property owners to take care of many things, in the absence of testing for safe air quality, some tenants may need to do their own research and investigation to ensure their family’s safety. Tenants who are believe that they are living in an unsafe home may want to consider seeking the assistance of an attorney for help in resolving the issue.

Source: Clarkston News, “Local tenant seeks radon relief” CJ Carnacchio, Jan. 22, 2014

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