Recovering costs from the seller after settlement
The Electricity Regulations 1947 (WA) require a seller of residential property to install at least 2 residual current devices (RCD’s) and hard-wired smoke alarms in the property before the sale is completed (settlement). Sellers face hefty fines for non-compliance.
Buyers should check that the property is fitted with RCD’s and mains-powered smoke alarms before settlement. If you are unsure, arrange for licensed electrical contractor to inspect the property. Whilst there is no obligation on the Seller to provide evidence by an electrician, the law does offer recourse to new home owners who make the unpleasant discovery after settlement that their home is non-compliant**.
Residual Current Devices (RCDs)
The Buyer may claim from the Seller the reasonable costs of complying with the Electricity Regulations within a period of 2 months after settlement.
The Seller may be liable to a fine of up to $15,000 for failing to comply with the regulations.
Hard-wired smoke alarms
Similarly, if the property has not been fitted with hard-wired smoke alarms prior to settlement, the Buyer may recover the reasonable costs from the Seller within a period of 12 months from settlement.
If the property is non-compliant, the Seller may be subject to a fine of up to $5,000.
** See r15A Electricity Regulations 1991 and r57-60 Building Regulations 2012