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New RCD Requirements

Settlement agents will be aware that since 2007, all new residential premises must be fitted with at least two RCD’s (as per AS/NZS standard 3000:2007).  

For all domestic dwellings built before 2007, the vendor must arrange for the RCD’s to be installed before transfer of title or prior to the renting/leasing of the premises.

A new version of AS/NZS 3000 was released on June 26th to commence on January 1st 2019. The requirement is not retrospective and will apply only to dwellings built after January 1st 2019.

It is important to note the following: 

Newly constructed property

All newly constructed residential properties shall have all their electrical sub-circuits protected by RCDs.

Existing residential property

A property that is occupied by the owner does not to have RCDs installed to any of the property sub-circuits. If for instance the existing socket outlet circuit has no RCD protection and extra outlets are installed then that sub circuit alone shall then be RCD protected.

Rental / for sale property

Property that is offered for rent or sale shall adhere to the existing legislation laid out in the Electricity Regulations 1947  whereby a minimum of two RCDs shall be installed protecting all socket outlet and lighting sub-circuits. There is no requirement to have all the remaining sub-circuits RCD protected.

Switchboard upgrades

Where a home owner or  landlord decides to have an existing property switchboard replaced / upgraded then all sub-circuits within that property are to be RCD protected.

Replacement of appliances / like for like maintenance etc

Where an electrical contractor is engaged to replace an existing non RCD protected oven unit with an identical or similar engineering specification there is no requirement for that circuit to be RCD protected. In the event whereby the new appliance is of a greater electrical rating and the existing sub-circuit cabling has to be upgraded to accommodate the extra load then the new circuit is to be RCD protected.

If light fittings or socket outlets are replaced like for like on non RCD protected sub-circuits in existing property not offered for rent or sale then again RCD protection is not required.

In summary RCD protection is not based on a retrospective format and unless the property is newly constructed, new circuits are being installed in existing property or existing switchboards are being completely replaced RCD protection is not required however it is encouraged to have the installation of RCDs as a proven safety measure.

Best practice: AICWA advocates to our members the following:

When acting for sellers be sure to:

  • Include link to Fact Sheets in your correspondence
  • Have seller sign an acknowledgement that you have made them aware
  • Request they provide evidence of the safety certificate, but advise they are not required to!
  • Advise the buyer’s conveyancer that seller does not have to provide evidence and suggest buyers make their own enquiries

When acting for buyers:

  • Include link to Fact Sheets in your correspondence
  • Tell the buyer that seller is not required to provide evidence of the safely certificate and advise they need to make their own enquiries (e.g. at final inspection).
  • If Building Inspection discloses an issue be sure to raise it with the buyer as well as  the seller’s conveyancer for the purposes of requesting remedial action.
  • Consider Including a  line in the  ‘Authority to Settle’ such as: I/We been made aware of the regulations regarding RCD’s & Smoke Alarms and are satisfied with the current status of the property

Additional resources:

RCD Rules

RCD Fact sheet  Note: the Fact sheet is yet to be updated to capture the new AS/NZS 3000 standard 

Energy Bulletin, April 2018 Issue no 82

The Electricity Regulations 1947 available for free download

Settlement Agents News Spring 09 Issue no 48

 

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