What are the laws on RCDs and smoke alarms?

Find answers to regulations around RCD and smoke alarm compliance while leasing or selling a property

RCD Alarm

RCDs and smoke alarms


Since August 2009, sellers of residential properties have been required by state law to have at least two RCDs installed in the property. These safety devices must be fitted at the meter box (main switchboard) or distribution board for the residence by the settlement date. 

The same law applies to owners with rental properties. Any residential property being leased must have RCDs fitted prior to the time the property is leased.  

These devices can save people from electrocution. RCDs can also protect against fires which can start from small leakages of current from wires with damaged or perished insulation. Any licensed electrician can supply and fit the RCDs on the switchboard to a property. 

There can be an exemption where the buyer will be demolishing the property. In such cases the seller should obtain a notice of intended demolition from the buyer prior to settlement. The notice will state the new owner’s intention to demolish the premises within six months after the settlement.

REIWA has prepared form 099 RCD Exemption in the Case of Demolition that can be used for this purpose.

The Electricity Regulations 1947 set out the Penalty for not installing RCDs: 

                  (a)    in the case of an individual — a fine of $15 000;

                  (b)    in the case of a body corporate — a fine of $100 000.

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