RCD rules

Information about RCD laws for homeowners, real estate agents, settlement agents, landlords, tenants and property managers.

Homeowners

A minimum of two RCDs protecting all power and lighting circuits must be fitted to a residential property before it can be sold and the transfer of title takes place.  Penalties apply if RCDs are not fitted and the land title is transferred to another person.

Where a property is intended to be demolished, the seller is not required to install RCDs at the point of sale. The buyer must provide written notice to the seller, stating that the property will be demolished within six months of transfer. If the property is not demolished within six months of transfer, the buyer must then install the required number of RCDs. If the buyer does not do so, he/she is in breach of the legislation.

I have purchased a new property and all the socket outlet and lighting circuits are not protected by two RCDs.  What do I do?

  1. Contact the previous owner and ask them to fit the RCDs to comply with the law.
  2. If the previous owner does not arrange for the RCDs to be fitted, then send them a written request. Keep a copy of this letter.
  3. If the previous owner fails to fit the RCDs within a reasonable time, send EnergySafety a copy of the letter requesting the previous owner to fit the RCDs, a copy of the title for the property (showing the date of transfer of the title) and a photograph of the main switchboard (where the RCDs should be located).
  4. Complaints can be sent via email to energysafety@commerce.wa.gov.au or by post to Locked Bag 14, Cloisters Square WA 6850.
  5. Once EnergySafety receives this information, we will arrange for the relevant Network Operator to inspect the installation and if RCDs are required to be fitted, issue an Order.
  6. Following the issue of an Order you must fit the RCDs. You can also seek reimbursement of the cost but this is a civil matter between the owners.
  7. EnergySafety will investigate your complaint.

Real estate agents

Real estate agents should inform potential vendors that RCDs must be installed prior to the transfer of ownership of the property.  When establishing property details from the vendor, it is recommended that the real estate agent include the following question on the vendor's property declaration:

"Is the house fitted with at least two RCDs which protect all power points and lighting circuits?"

Settlement agents

The settlement agent should provide their client with a copy of EnergySafety's RCD fact sheet. The appropriate time to provide this information is when an agent obtains or confirms an appointment to act. Supplying this information to clients will help agents comply with standards of due care and skill.

Landlords

Regulations require all residential homes to be fitted with at least two RCDs protecting all power and lighting circuits.

Landlords must arrange for a minimum of two RCDs to be installed at their rental premises before offering the property for lease.

Tenants

Regulations require all rental properties to be fitted with at least two RCDs protecting all power and lighting circuits in the house.

Check that at least two RCDs are installed before entering into a tenancy agreement.

Tenants should test their RCDs every three months to ensure their reliability. They should inform the property manager if the RCD does not operate. Faulty RCDs must be replaced immediately.

I have moved into a rental property and all the socket outlet and lighting circuits are not protected by two RCDs.  What do I do?

  1. Contact the landlord or managing agent and ask them to fit the RCDs to comply with the Law.
  2. If the landlord or management agent does not arrange for the RCDs to be fitted then send a written request.  Keep a copy of this letter.
  3. If the landlord fails to fit the RCDs within a reasonable time, send EnergySafety a copy of the letter requesting the landlord to fit the RCDs, a copy of the rental agreement and a photograph of the main switchboard (where the RCDs should be located).
  4. Complaints can be sent by email to energysafety@commerce.wa.gov.au or by post to Locked Bag 14, Cloisters Square, Perth WA 6850.
  5. Once EnergySafety receives this information we will arrange for the relevant Network Operator to inspect the installation and if RCDs are required to fitted, issue an Order.
  6. Following the issue of an Order the landlord must fit the RCDs.
  7. EnergySafety will investigate your complaint.

Property managers

Property managers should check their residential rental properties to ensure that at least two RCDs are fitted to protect all power and lighting circuits in the residence.  At least one RCD is to be fitted to power and lighting circuits in common areas of strata units.

If RCDs are not fitted, property managers should advise the owner to have the RCDs fitted.  If the owner fails to fit the RCDs then the property manager should advise EnergySafety on 6251 1900.

It is also recommended that the tenant be reminded to test the RCDs every three months and inform the property manager if the RCD does not operate.  This test resets the reliability of the RCD, ensuring that it is ready to protect the occupants of the house from electrocution.  Faulty RCDs must be replaced immediately.

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