Landlords need to ensure the spaces they rent are not exposed to high radon.
BC’s Residential Tenancy Act covers most rental accomodation in the province, including government owned social housing. It requires landlords to ensure that residential property complies with health, safety and housing standards required by law, and that the rental unit is safe for the tenant (ss. 28 and 32(1)). Similar provisions in Ontario and Quebec law have been found by administrative tribunals to cover radon over Canada’s Radon Guideline of 200 Bq/m3.
As well, landlords are “occupiers” as defined under BC’s Occupiers Liability Act. Through this legislation, landlords owe tenants a duty of care. Landlords need to take reasonable steps necessary to address an undue hazard. There has not been a court case yet on this in Canada, but high radon concentrations would likely be characterized as an undue hazard.
Renters should first approach their landlords to ask for testing and if needed mitigation. If that fails renters can apply to BC’s Residential Tenancy Branch for help.
The Real Estate Council of British Columbia has also issues guidance saying that rental property managers must disclose elevated radon to potential tenants. If your property manager does not address radon, you can make a complaint to the Real Estate Council of BC.
Guide for renters coming soon.