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Radon Testing Now Required for Sales of Homes, including New Homes, in Montgomery County

Author: Michael A. Faerber Date: 09/19/2016

Categories: Real Estate Law

Starting October 1, 2016, single-family homes being sold in Montgomery County must be tested for radon before the sale is completed. The test must be performed less than one year prior to the settlement date. According to the law, the seller of the home must either perform the test or permit the buyer to perform the test, and both the seller and the buyer must receive a copy of the results. Until this change, radon tests were frequently conducted but were not required as they now will be.

The new law applies to single-family detached homes as well as attached/townhomes. It does not include condominium or co-op units. Upon review of legislative history related to the statute, it appears that this requirement also applies to the sales of new homes. The County Building Code already requires passive radon remediation systems to be installed in new homes.

The statute includes some exemptions. The radon test is not mandatory for sales that are exempt from the transfer tax under Section 13-207 of the Maryland Tax-Property Code. Also exempt are sales made by a lender (or an affiliate or subsidiary of a lender) that acquired the home by foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure; sheriff’s sales, tax sales or sales by foreclosure, partition or court-appointed trustee; and home sales that are a transfer by a fiduciary in the course of administration of a decedent’s estate, guardianship, conservatorship, or trust. Homes that are to be demolished or converted by a buyer into a use other than residential are also exempt.

If you have questions or need more information about the new testing requirements, please contact me at (240) 778-2305 or by e-mail at mfaerber@mcmillanmetro.com.