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My father is cheating on radon test to sell home - what to do or say?  XML
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gashlycrumb2001
Rolling Stone

Joined: 05/29/2017 02:09 PM EDT
Messages: 5
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So, my father is selling his home in Morris County, NJ. I live with my father. He received an offer in March, and after some back and forth they agreed on the final price.

The buyers brought in an inspector for a home inspection, and the inspection found several issues, one of them being high levels of radon. The initial test was 5.8. All of the tests are the charcoal cannister type. The first test was put in by the home inspector.

So my father hired a company for radon mitigation, and they installed fan/cover system in the basement.

A second test found that the levels were high again, still above 5.0. This second test was again a charcoal canister, and my dad picked up and placed the canisters himself. However, it was placed on an end table, which was about 3 feet high (as opposed to the level at which your head is, about 5-6 feet high).

For the first two tests, the basement door was closed, as were the windows.

He had the radon mitigation company come in again, and "seal" the french drain along where the slab meets the cinder block wall. The guys from the company stated that it probably wouldn't pass the test, and that a second fan system would have to be installed (on the other side of the basement, I think). But, they said let's see what the test results come back as.

So, for the third test, my father picked up the test again, but this time, he left the door to the basement completely open, for the entire time of the test. He specifically stated to me, that if the test doesn't pass, he would have to pay for more mitigation to bring the level back to legal limit. I didn't say anything to him, and didn't close the door myself, which I think would have been a moot point, since the test was already invalid, and he would have reopened the door anyway. It's not as if he didn't know what he has doing.

The results came back from the testing company, and they "passed," at 2.8. My dad then sent the results to his broker and real estate attorney.

Some of my questions are:
At this point, should I say anything to anyone? If so, to who? My dad's broker, or attorney? Or the seller's broker or attorney?
Should I keep quiet, as it's not any of my business?

As far as I know, I'm the ONLY person my dad has told this to. He hasn't told his broker, or attorney. I'm pretty sure, that if he told his broker, the broker would have objected and told him to do the test right, and perform whatever action is needed to get the radon levels down. He certainly didn't tell the attorney, in fact my dad send the attorney the fraudulent "passing" test results, presumably to pass on to the buyer's broker/attorney. I am not the seller, and I didn't conduct any of the tests.

I don't know the details of the buyer's contract, but i do know that they have put in a deposit in escrow with their attorney, they have brought in the home appraiser to our home, and the closing date is June 28th.

I've read that if they perform their own test after moving in, and the levels don't match, that my dad could be sued?

Not sure what to do here, as I would want my dad to avoid a future lawsuit from the buyers. I was thinking of contacting the buyer's broker directly and explaining the situation to him.
Mike Casey
General
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Joined: 06/28/2014 07:21 PM EDT
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Location: San Diego CA
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The ethical decision is yours. There will be a paper trail that the test might be compromised. Below is the epa protocol for radon testing, doors and windows are required to be closed. You could try a longer term monitor test, however, results could be higher.

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-08/documents/homes_protocols.pdf


Mike Casey
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Home Inspection University
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www.MichaelCasey.com
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gashlycrumb2001
Rolling Stone

Joined: 05/29/2017 02:09 PM EDT
Messages: 5
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Mike Casey wrote:The ethical decision is yours. There will be a paper trail that the test might be compromised. Below is the epa protocol for radon testing, doors and windows are required to be closed. You could try a longer term monitor test, however, results could be higher.

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-08/documents/homes_protocols.pdf



I'm leaning towards telling someone, either the listing agent or buyer's agent, or both.

What do you mean by a paper trail that the test might be compromised? You mean the previous two tests that came in higher than 5.0, and the third that came in at 2.8? I know that the doors and windows are to be closed, that's how he did the tests the first two times, making a point to me that the doors are to be kept closed for the test.
Mike Casey
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Joined: 06/28/2014 07:21 PM EDT
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Location: San Diego CA
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I mean the lab test results as the paper trail.

Thank you.

Mike Casey
Director of Education
Home Inspection University
www.HomeInspectionUniversity.com
www.MichaelCasey.com
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badams01
Rolling Stone

Joined: 08/31/2017 11:15 AM EDT
Messages: 4
Location: TN
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I agree that you should do the right thing. Not only will you not have to live with the guilt you may also save your father from an expensive lawsuit. I would question the poor performance of the remediation system that was installed. I have only been doing radon testing for about 2 years so have not necessarily seen every possible outcome but the remediation systems I have seen installed have generally reduced levels by several pCi/L at least. If the system only reduced it by .8 pCi/L maybe the system is poorly installed. Did the company not give any kind of guarantee that levels would be reduced to acceptable ranges? The company that does remediation around here guarantees the performance of their systems and will even install additional equipment at no cost if it is needed.

Bruce Adams
1st Priority Home Inspections
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www.cookevillehomeinspectors.com
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Roy Lewis
RockStar!
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Joined: 07/01/2014 08:26 AM EDT
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Tell him how you feel and just move on.

1stproinspection.com
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