Maine has enacted legislation amending the state’s landlord-tenant law to address radon hazards in rental properties. Maine Revised Statutes (MRS), title 14, §6030-D.
Duty to test and mitigate. Under the law, landlords must have their properties tested for radon by
March 1, 2014. The law provides a 10-year interval for mandatory retesting. The law requires that the testing be conducted by a radon professional registered with the state pursuant to the state’s radon registration law. 14 MRS §6030-D(1); 22 MRS §771-784.
When a test carried out under the law reveals a radon level at or above 4.0 pCi/L, the landlord must, within 6 months, conduct mitigation until the radon level is below 4 pCi/L. 14 MRS §6030-D(3). The mitigation must be carried out by a radon professional registered with the state pursuant to the state’s radon registration law. 14 MRS §6030-D(3); 22 MRS §771-784.
Notice of testing and mitigation. Landlords must provide tenants and potential tenants with written notice regarding the presence of radon in the building, including the date and results of the most recent test, along with information about the risks of radon exposure. The law directs the state health department to develop a disclosure form for this purpose. 14 MRS §6030-D(2). Landlords also must provide written notice to tenants after radon levels have been mitigated.
The state’s radon registration law additionally requires that registered professionals report to the state health department the addresses of all structures that are tested or mitigated for radon, as well as the testing results. 22 MRS §778.
Enforcement/Penalties. A person who violates these radon testing and mitigation requirements commits a civil violation and may be assessed a fine of up to $250 per violation.
Other portions of the state landlord-tenant law provide that if a condition exists in a dwelling unit which renders the dwelling unit unfit for human habitation, the tenant may file a complaint in court against the landlord affirming, among other things, that the condition “endangers or materially impairs the health or safety of the tenants” and that the landlord failed to take effective action to remedy the problem despite receiving written notice of the condition. 14 MRS §6020(3). Remedies available to tenants who are successful in bringing such a case include an injunction to repair the condition. 14 MRS §6020(4).