WA Rewiring Issues - Buyer Threatening to Report Me to Western Power?

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now

Ry1979

Active Member
12 April 2018
6
0
31
All,

I recently sold an old 1920's house, which had two RCDs installed, and to my knowledge were functioning, as per WA regulations. The new owner has now contacted me saying an electrician said the RCDs were faulty and had to be replaced along with some of the roof electrical work being "illegal". It's an old house, so it's quite possible the existing roof wiring is not up to current standards / compliance.

They want me to pay for entire rewiring of the house ($12,000 +) and the new expensive RCDs they had installed, else I could be fined $15,000 under noncompliance law.

Do they have any grounds for demanding money from me now that the contract has been settled? And is there any possibility this is Extortion under Australian Property Law given they've implied I could be fined if they inform Western Power (respective Authorities) unless I pay for their rewiring?

I appreciate your help as this has taken me by surprise.

Regards,
 

Rod

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
7,194
969
2,894
It seems unlikely they can make you pay but I'm no expert in WA property laws.

Many building standards have changed in the last 90 yrs and it is unusual to force compliance to new standards. I do note swimming pools are one example that force compliance with new standards.

Call WA Electrical Requirements (WAER) in the first instance, and if necessary confirm with your lawyer who managed your sale.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Ry1979

Ry1979

Active Member
12 April 2018
6
0
31
Appreciate your response.

I too was under the impression that they can't force me to pay, as the law only seems to state that compliance dictates RCDs are to be installed, which they were. Faults to their functioning possibly being a separate issue.

Settlement Agent (not a lawyer per se) whom settled the sale was not entirely sure on the RCDs issue but seemed to think the contract did not stipulate Im responsible for wiring after settlement.

I've read through the two Acts on WA Electrical Requirements (WAER) and not sure Ive found anything concrete as yet to feel confident.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Rob Legat - SBPL

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
16 February 2017
2,452
511
2,894
Gold Coast, Queensland
lawtap.com
There's lot of potentials to this question, and many of them depend on WA property law (which I know nothing about). So, in very general terms:

1. If they bought via auction, they're likely to be out of luck. Auctions tend to be 'as is, where is'.
2. Unless it's been extensively renovated, it's obviously an old house. It's implied that there's a good possibility of old wiring.
3. If they have the benefit of a building inspection, this should have covered it.
4. If you were unaware of the issue, then unless you were required to be (and to have informed them of it) you're not at fault.

Apart from that, follow Rod's suggestions.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ry1979

Ry1979

Active Member
12 April 2018
6
0
31
Rob,

They are some good points you bring up and a few I'd not thought of. Thanks for the response.

I'll further my investigations based on them.

-R
 

Tripe

Well-Known Member
22 May 2017
220
13
619
Did the purchase contract have any conditions, that the property electrical cabling etc, had to meet any required standards?

If not, you should have nothing to worry about.
 

Ry1979

Active Member
12 April 2018
6
0
31
Cheers Tripe.

The more I think about it, and get wider perspectives on here, the more I realise Im not liable and that perhaps they're just trying to scare me into paying for their re-wiring based on the fact under WA law 2 RCDs must be installed and that they're claiming they were somehow "faulty" so had to replace them at cost.