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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    1,217

    Question Do You Use A Non-Interference Agreement For Radon Testing

    I ran into a problem on a recent radon test. (Actually there was more than just one problem but I'll try to keep it simple.)

    My client's Realtor called me to arrange a radon test. I explained my services and gave him my price and he gave me the OK. He gave me the code to the combination lockbox so I would be able to let myself in and told me to coordinate everything with his assistant. Long story short - - - I spoke to the assistant and we agreed on a date and time for me to start my radon test. I also verbally explained the test protocols to her (exterior doors and windows closed 12 hours before and for the duration of the radon test, etc.) and asked her to make sure the occupants of the house were advised of these protocols. She agreed to do so. This conversation took place two days before the start of the radon test.

    The day of the start of the test I arrived at the house at the scheduled time, let myself in and verified that all exterior doors and windows were closed. They were. I placed my device, got it started and (as usual) left my Radon Measurement Instructions on the kitchen counter along with my RADON TEST IN PROGRESS - DO NOT DISTURB sign.

    Later the occupant called me to let me know that no one had notified them the radon test was going to be done (much less to explain the test protocols to them). She said they had left the windows open the previous night and only closed them at 8 AM before leaving the house. So instead of having closed-house conditions for 12 hours per EPA protocols we only had them for 6 hours before the start of the test. That's not good for a 48-hour test.

    I know, I know. Some of you are probably saying I could have extended the test to 96 hours and I would not have needed the 12 hour period before the start of the test. Unfortunately the device I was using was set up for a 48-hour test and I could not extend it. (It's complicated. Don't ask.)

    So, I had to tell my client that the test was invalid.

    This was an unfortunate but completely avoidable situation. I did nothing wrong. My client did nothing wrong. But the Realtor and his assistant failed to do their jobs. So far I have not had any fallout from this incident.

    Which leads to my questions for those of you who do radon testing . . .

    1) Do you use a "Non-Interference Agreement" (NIA), "Radon Measurement Instructions" (RMI) or something similar?

    2) If so, is it a separate form or is it a part of your Radon Measurement Agreement?

    3) Who signs it? The client? The Realtor? The occupant? Remember, the client is usually not living in the house when we do a radon test. The typical radon test is for a buyer with the seller living in the house.

    4) What does your NIA or RMI say?

    5) How and when do you convey the NIA or RMI to whoever signs it? Do you e-mail or fax it to the Realtor and let them handle it? Or do you contact the occupant directly?

    6) Do you require a signed NIA or RMI before you start the radon test?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Do You Use A Non-Interference Agreement For Radon Testing

    No, I do not use an agreement like that.

    I post notices on the doors, at the CRM and on the kitchen counter. I tell them when possible about the testing requirements. On my notices I do state that if the test must be repeated due to the protocols not being followed a retest fee will be charged. That is about all I say

    I guess it would be a good idea to have an agreement, I just have not had or seen the need for one. So far I have not had any problems that I'm aware of..

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
    Paul Ybarra's Avatar
    Paul Ybarra Guest

    Default Re: Do You Use A Non-Interference Agreement For Radon Testing

    Yes, I do use one and every licensed tester in Illinois is required to use one. They all may look different but the meat of the requirements is the same. We are required to attempt to get a signature from the occupant but that may not happen due to the occupant not being home. If that is the case I leave a copy for them to sign and so they know the requirements and I annotate on another copy that the home was vacant, occupant not home etc and keep that with my records. If the copy left on site is signed when I retrieve the device I add it to the record. I also annotate on our forms that I either spoke with the occupant or RE Agent and they were notified of our Closed Building Requirements. A lot of work but it covers my rear end and is required in our state. During state auditing of my records they do verify a form is present for the records they review.

    Attached is a copy of my agreement


  4. #4
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Re: Do You Use A Non-Interference Agreement For Radon Testing

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Ybarra View Post
    Yes, I do use one and every licensed tester in Illinois is required to use one. They all may look different but the meat of the requirements is the same. We are required to attempt to get a signature from the occupant but that may not happen due to the occupant not being home. If that is the case I leave a copy for them to sign and so they know the requirements and I annotate on another copy that the home was vacant, occupant not home etc and keep that with my records. If the copy left on site is signed when I retrieve the device I add it to the record. I also annotate on our forms that I either spoke with the occupant or RE Agent and they were notified of our Closed Building Requirements. A lot of work but it covers my rear end and is required in our state. During state auditing of my records they do verify a form is present for the records they review.

    Attached is a copy of my agreement
    ah Illinois. The only state, that I know of, that requires more than the EPA protocol.

    I live so close to Illinois, yet I stay soo far away.


  5. #5
    Michael Schirmer's Avatar
    Michael Schirmer Guest

    Default Re: Do You Use A Non-Interference Agreement For Radon Testing

    I use one in Vermont, but appear to be the only one.
    Both your client and the realtor like's it though, because if you show up to pick up your test and all the windows are open, there's no question who's going to pay for the re-testing.

    http://www.inspect-tech.net/download/radonagreement.pdf


  6. #6
    Patrick McCaffery's Avatar
    Patrick McCaffery Guest

    Default Re: Do You Use A Non-Interference Agreement For Radon Testing

    Yes Bruce, I use one and also post signs on the doors. The Test Authorization Agreement is signed by the owner or a representative. The agreement indicates that any violation of protocal will result in the owner having to pay for the retest. I have only had one istance and the owner called to tell me that her six year old son and his friend had tampered with the unit. I contacted Radalink my provider and they allowed me to download the information for free and so I did not charge anything for the retest. The seller was so pleased that she contacted me to inspect the home that they were purchasing.


  7. #7
    John McQuiggan's Avatar
    John McQuiggan Guest

    Default Re: Do You Use A Non-Interference Agreement For Radon Testing

    The best (but not fool-proof) method I've found is to call the listing agent a day or two before the test starts and ask him or her to talk to the seller about closed house conditions. That usually works.

    When it doesn't, I find everybody's usually OK with extending the test to 96 hrs. (I'm using Sun 1027's.) Once, when the house wasn't far from mine and I was feeling like a nice guy, I offered to come back the next day to start the 48-hr test.

    In PA, we're supposed to try to get the homeowner to sign a closed-house/non-interference statement and leave signs or door-hangers or something around as reminders. If possible I also talk to the homeowner to ask that they not touch/move/incinerate the monitor, open windows, use the fireplace, etc.

    Like I say, it usually works....


  8. #8
    William Levy's Avatar
    William Levy Guest

    Default Re: Do You Use A Non-Interference Agreement For Radon Testing

    Here is a sample of an of a standard one used for many years on residential testing signed by who orders the test or who lets us in..
    Cheers, Bill Levy
    Associated Radon Services
    RADON SERVICES
    Florida Department of Health Certified Radon Measurement Business RB16
    TO BE PRESENTERD TO OWNER OR AGENT WHEN TESTING IS SCHEDULED
    RADON TESTING REQUIRED CONDITIONS FOR VALID TEST
    Test Date: ________________start _________________finish


    Property Location:_________________________________________ ___________


    Name:_____________________________________________ _________________


    As the owner, agent for, or occupant of the above referenced property, I understand that a Radon gas short term test is being performed by RADON SERVICES with my permission. I understand that U.S. EPA & FL DOH defined "closed house conditions" are essential to the accuracy of this test, and that the all windows and all doors will or have been kept closed, except for normal entry and exit, for the period 12 hours prior to the test and during the testing period.

    I understand that I must not operate high volume window or attic fans or any other device that impacts the ventilation of the building 12 hours prior to and during the test period. I agree to operate the air conditioning or heating system in a normal manner during the period 12 hours prior to and during the test period.

    I understand that alteration of the U.S. EPA defined "closed house conditions" may interfere with the validity of the test results and result in false high results or other legal liabilities. I agree not to tamper, disturb, cover, move, or otherwise interfere in any way with the test devices as placed or ventilate the subject dwelling during the testing period.

    I authorize RADON SERVICES to inspect this property prior to and during the test period and to disclose the test results to the party for whom this radon screening measurement in being made.

    I confirm that I have read and understand this statement and agree to maintain CLOSED HOUSE conditions, keeping all windows and doors closed except for normal entry and exit and to keep the AC or Heat on in a normal manner according to season.


    Signature: _________________________________________Date_____ ________________



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    1,217

    Default Re: Do You Use A Non-Interference Agreement For Radon Testing

    Thanks, Bill. Your reply was very helpful.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgetown, KY
    Posts
    537

    Default Re: Do You Use A Non-Interference Agreement For Radon Testing

    Sounds like the only fault here is the assitant who FAILED to communicate with the homeowner.

    Avoid it by sending either the seller/occupant or the agent an non-interference agreement ahead of time and tell them you can't start the test until you get it back.

    Kinda forces communication between them so everyone knows.

    Be glad you had an honest selelr who called to let you know about the problem.

    I'd of just let my Radalink Aircat keeping running until it had enough time to allow for the 12 hour closed house condition.

    -

    Erby Crofutt, Georgetown, KY - Read my Blog here: Erby the Central Kentucky Home Inspector B4 U Close Home Inspections www.b4uclose.com www.kentuckyradon.com
    Find on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/B4UCloseInspections

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