Illinois Radon Awareness Act

What Landlords Need to Know Regarding the Illinois Radon Awareness Act

Historically, home sellers have long needed to provide buyers with disclosures identifying elevated radon levels, as well as a radon pamphlet created by the State of Illinois. Effective January 1, 2024, a new law called the Illinois Radon Awareness Act creates new requirements of Landlords and gives Tenants new rights.

Does this Law affect me?

If you are a landlord leasing to residential tenants in 2024, and any unit you rent includes the second story or lower above ground level of your property (including basement rentals), then this law may affect you. Note that this law applies to leases entered into on or after January 1, 2024. That is, if you signed a lease in 2023, you do not need to make that 2023 lease comply with this new law. If, however, you signed a lease in 2023 that has since renewed or rolled over into 2024, you likely do need to comply with this law in 2024. If you are unsure how this law affects you, please contact your local Meyer Capel office to schedule a consultation to go over the details of your lease.

What do I need to do?

For every tenant that is leasing from you in 2024, and the unit they are leasing includes basement, ground floor, first floor, or second floor space, you need to comply with the requirements of the new law. If the only units you’re leasing are above the second floor, i.e. third floor and up, the statute has an exemption and this law does not apply.

First, you need to provide each tenant with a copy of the Radon Guide for Tenants and the Disclosure of Information on Radon Hazards to Tenants. You need to provide these in every situation to any tenant leasing a residential unit on the second floor or lower.

Second, if you possess records or reports on Radon concentration from tests conducted within a 2-year period, you are required to provide copies of those to any Tenant.

When do I need to do it?

In order to comply with the law, you must supply the Tenant with the above information 1) At the time of application, before the lease is entered into; or 2) Any time during the leasing period, if the Tenant asks for it and you haven’t already provided it.

What rights does my Tenant have?

At the beginning of the lease, the Tenant has 90 days to conduct their own Radon test. They have to provide the results to the Landlord within 10 days of receiving results. If the results of that test show Radon at or above 4.0 pCi/L, then you have three options as the Landlord. 1) You may conduct your own test within 30 days to attempt to disprove the results shown by the Tenant’s test; 2) You may mitigate the Radon; or 3) The Tenant may terminate the lease if you elect not to mitigate the Radon. It is your choice whether or not to mitigate, and the Tenant can only mitigate the Radon with your consent.

Your Tenant can conduct a Radon test at any point during the lease, but they only have the right to terminate the lease if the test is conducted within 90 days of the start of the lease, so long as you provided the Tenant with the Pamphlet, results of Radon Tests within 2 years, and the Disclosure form.

If you didn’t provide the Tenant with the Pamphlet, results of Radon Tests within 2 years, and the Disclosure form, then the Tenant can conduct a Radon test at any point during the lease and will still have their right to terminate the lease if you don’t mitigate the Radon.

Do I have to pay for the Radon Mitigation?

You are responsible to pay for the Radon Mitigation if the Radon is at or above 4.0 pCi/L. If the Tenant decides to take care of the mitigation themselves, the Tenant may deduct the cost of a professional mitigation system from their rent over the course of the lease. Note that the cost must be spread out over the entire lease period, so the Tenant can’t just deduct the cost from a few months.

If you elect not to mitigate and the Tenant elects to terminate the lease, you can’t use the Tenant’s security deposit to cover the cost of Radon mitigation.

If you are a Landlord and have questions about how this law might affect you, or if you are a Tenant and believe your rights under the new law have been violated, please contact our Champaign or Bloomington office to schedule a consultation with a Real Estate attorney.

Author: Anthony J. Blodgett, Esq.