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Navigating RCD and smoke alarm compliance in Perth property sales

May 14, 2024

In the realm of property sales, ensuring compliance with safety regulations is not just a legal obligation but a crucial aspect of safeguarding the interests of both buyers and sellers in Perth, WA. Among the most frequently asked questions in property transactions today revolves around the compliance of Residual Current Devices (RCDs) and smoke alarms. While these components are essential for safety, the intricacies of their compliance can often be a source of confusion.

Understanding RCD and smoke alarm requirements:

RCDs and smoke alarms are critical safety devices designed to protect homes from electrical faults and fire hazards, respectively. Compliance with the regulations governing these devices is not only a legal requirement but a critical safety measure. Here’s what you need to know:

  • RCD compliance: RCDs are designed to immediately shut off the electrical supply when leakage of current is detected, thereby reducing the risk of electric shock or fire. The law requires that all residential properties in Western Australia must have at least two RCDs installed, protecting all power points and lighting circuits.


  • Smoke alarm compliance: Smoke alarms must be installed on every level of a home, inside every bedroom, and in hallways that connect bedrooms with the rest of the dwelling. These devices need to be less than 10 years old and interconnected in homes where renovations have occurred, or new homes built after certain dates depending on local laws.


  • Compliance upon selling a property: When it comes to selling a property, ensuring that these safety devices are compliant is the responsibility of the current homeowner. However, the transaction process does not require the seller to provide physical evidence of compliance unless specified in the contract. This point often leads to queries from buyers who are concerned about the safety of their potential new home.


  • Contract specifications: If a buyer wants assurance of compliance for RCDs and smoke alarms before settlement, this requirement should be explicitly stated as a special condition in the contract of sale. Without such a condition, the seller is not obligated to provide proof of compliance, though the devices must still meet legal standards.


Addressing common questions and concerns

It’s common for buyers to enquire about the compliance of RCDs and smoke alarms during the purchasing process. Addressing these concerns proactively can help in ensuring a smoother transaction:

  • Seller’s declaration: Although not required, sellers can choose to provide a declaration of compliance as a gesture of good faith and transparency. This can be particularly reassuring to buyers and can facilitate trust in the transaction process.


  • Professional checks: Buyers are advised to conduct professional checks or request that such checks be included as conditions before settlement. This ensures that any compliance issues are identified and addressed prior to finalising the sale.


Contact Megan at Essence Conveyancing to ensure a smooth settlement

Ensuring RCD and smoke alarm compliance is a key step in the property selling process, safeguarding both parties and ensuring that safety regulations are met. Sellers must understand their obligations and consider how best to address potential concerns from buyers. Incorporating specific conditions related to compliance checks in the sale contract can prevent misunderstandings and ensure that all parties are satisfied with the transaction. For more detailed information on RCD and smoke alarm compliance or to discuss specific conditions you might want to include in your property sale contract, reach out to Essence Conveyancing. If you are unsure if your RCD and smoke alarm is compliant, please ensure you get in touch with an electrician to check for you.


Disclaimer: Please note, the contents of this article do not constitute conveyancing advice, are not intended to be a substitute for conveyancing advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should seek conveyancing advice or other professional advice in relation to any particular matters you or your organisation may have. To find out more, please contact us.