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What is a Residual Current Device (RCD)? – Private Landlords in Scotland

Health & Safety

We have had a few enquiries relating to the above topic.  We quickly realised perhaps the new Regulations under The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 have either been forgotten or missed due to more pressing Pandemic matters.

What is a RCD?

A Residual Current Device (RCD) is usually built into the main switchboard, and acts as a means of protection to reduce the likelihood of an electrical injury.

An electrical socket outlet incorporating an RCD, or a plug in RCD adaptor, can also provide additional safety.

An RCD detects faults in the electrical system and rapidly switches off the supply.

Plug in adaptors should be tested prior to use via the dedicated “test” button.

Electrical sockets with a built in RCD should be regularly tested to ensure continued effectiveness as a safety measure.

To prevent electric shock the RCD should have a tripping current of less than 30 milliamps (mA).

This is to prevent the human body from coming into contact with any current of 30 mA or higher, which can cause cardiac arrest.

If the RCD trips during or before use, remember there is a fault and the electrical circuit of supply requires checking before restarting.

The two new Regulations amend the standards required in private rented housing:

The key aspects are:

  1. To achieve a Tolerable Standard for all housing. Falling below these standard requirements, the house is considered unfit for human habitation. This requirement came into force from 1st March 2019
  2. Safe Kitchens, the requirements for safely accessible food storage and food preparation space comes into force 1st March 2024
  3. A fixed Heating System in proper working order comes into force 1st March 2024
  4. Safe Access to Common Parts e.g. a flat in a tenement comes into force 1st March 2024
  5. Consent to Work on Common Parts e.g. a flat in a tenement, does not excuse the repairs, where the majority of owners have refused consent to carry out the work, came into force 1st March 2019
  6. Safe and Secure Common Doors, as the title suggests must be secure and fitted with satisfactory locks that can be opened for fire escape reasons without the use of a key, comes into force 1st March 2024
  7. Residual Current Devices must be fitted to electrical supplies, comes into force 1st March 2024
  8. Other fuels, no just gas and electrical must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order, come into force 1st March 2024
  9. Holiday Lets will not apply to these standards if the tenancies are less that 31 days as other non-domestic residential accommodation rules apply, came into fierce 1st March 2019
  10. Agricultural Tenancies, previous exclusions will be removed e.g. the Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993 and the duty to meet the repairing standard will come into force 28th March 2027

More details are available

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