Please remember that my opinion below is intended for educational purposes and information only. Please do not rely on my opinion below until we’ve discussed your specific facts. With that disclaimer, let’s talk about RADON GAS!
Is the HOA responsible for radon gas found within a unit? No. Though I am not a chemist, I know that radon gas is found in virtually all soils due to the breakdown naturally occurring uranium (that is about as much as I know). Nevertheless, radon gas can be a health hazard and this is an important topic.
As you know, radon gas seeps through foundations and concrete and can enter a unit. Because there is no perfect building technique to keep these microscopic chemicals from passing through concrete and, ultimately, entering the unit. Such gas entering a unit is not necessarily the “fault” of the Developer and, consequently, it is not a “defect” in the common areas.
In short, owners are responsible to maintain their interiors. That logic applies to radon testing and mitigation – it simply falls on the owner.
Of course, the Association would be responsible for any radon gases mitigation found in the common areas (be mindful that crawlspaces, attics, etc., could be common areas and not part of the unit; certainly clubhouses, etc., are common areas).
If the Board knows that a unit tested positive for radon should does it have a duty to disclose it to the community? No. For the reason that radon gas found inside the interior of unit is an owner responsibility, there should be no obligation to inform the community that radon was detected in a private unit. However, this mentality could cause problems.
It may be wise to “get ahead of the story” and remind owners of their responsibility for testing and mitigating radon gas to help minimize scrutiny of the Board for “not acting.”
I hope this brief entry helps. As always, contact me directly for additional discussion. Best regards, John Richards, Esq. firstname.lastname@example.org
MARK THE DATE: JANUARY 16, 2015 – HOA ESSENTIALS AND BEYOND! MORE INFORMATION TO COME. LIVE PRESENTATION!