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Blogg för dig inom fastighetssektorn WSPs fastighetsblogg håller dig uppdaterad om vad som är på gång inom fastighetssektorn och hur WSP kan hjälpa dig. WSP tillhandahåller många olika tjänster för fastigheter som besiktningar, skadebedömningar, due diligence, underhållsplaner och förvaltning.

 
 

Radon problematic issue in transactions

May 16, 2016
 

Radon* is a common problem in Nordic countries which can disconcert property transactions. When radon measurements are not available during an acquisition we at WSP often receive the question “Must we measure radon, the tenant is responsible for all maintenance?” The answer is no, and yes…

 

The situation is most relevant for sale and leaseback structures or triple net leases were the majority of the maintenance responsibility is assigned to the tenant.  With the exception of residential properties there is a clear answer found in Swedens workplace standards (arbetsmiljölagen) which states that responsibility is neither the property owners nor the tenants.  Responsibility lies with exclusively with the employer.

If it is known that a space has high radon levels, the Swedish Work Environment Authority (arbetsmiljöverket) can request that an employer, which requires its employees to work in such an environment, to implement measures that reduce the quantity of radon to below approved levels.  That a contract exists between a tenant and property owner is inconsequential for the Authority.  In a situation where a tenant refuses to implement measures, irrespective of the arrangements between the tenant and property owner, can the property owner be affected in the case that the Authority requires that the radon levels in a space be addressed before it is leased.  There is no formal requirement that radon measurements are performed, only that levels are maintained below specified levels.  Therein lies the problem, the property owner risks, despite everything, to lose out on revenues.  A consequence that gives a clear argument for the measurement of radon in any case.

*Radon is colorless, odorless noble gas that has been connected to increased incidence of lung cancer.  Radon results naturally as a decay product of radium underground and can find its way into buildings through the basement floor and walls.  All stone building materials release small amounts of radon, before the mid-70’s some concrete in Sweden was mixed with aggregate that generates elevated levels of radon.

 

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