Is your swimming pool compliant? New laws kick in from 29 April 2014!

If you are thinking of selling your property and you have a Swimming Pool or a Swim Spa/Spa Pool you need to read this:

Is your Swimming Pool or Swim Spa/Spa Pool registered on the Swimming Pool Register?

For the last 12 months pool owners have been obligated to register their swimming pool, swim spa/spa pool on the NSW Swimming Pool Register (www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au). A fine of $220.00 may apply for non registration during this time.

From 29 April 2014, you must have a Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate (or an Occupation Certificate for the pool issued by Council or a private certifier within the last 3 years) annexed to all Contracts for sale of land. Failure by a Vendor to annex this Certificate will give the Buyer a right to rescind (get out of the Contract) within 14 days from the date of exchange of Contracts (unless settlement has occurred).

What is a Compliance Certificate? A Compliance Certificate certifies that the pool and the pool barrier meet the relevant safety requirements and is valid for a period of 3 years from the date of issue.

Who can issue a Compliance Certificate? Your Local Council or a private pool certifier (www.bpb.nsw.gov.au) click on ‘Find a Certifier’.

What is the cost of a Compliance Certificate? Local councils may charge a maximum of $150 for an initial inspection. If a further inspection is required, a fee of no more than $100 may be charged. If you engage a private certifier they will set their own fee schedule.

What happens if the pool doesn’t comply at inspection? Following inspection, if the pool or barrier is found to be non-compliant with the pool safety requirements you will be given a list of requirements needed to make the pool compliant. If following a second inspection the pool barrier is still not compliant then the Council or private certifier may issue you with an Order to rectify.

Can I receive a fine for non-compliance? A pool owner can face penalties of up to $5,500 for non-compliance with the pool safety requirements and on-the-spot fines of $550.

Strata Apartments, Townhouses and Community title properties are affected!

If you are selling a property where there is a swimming pool on the common property or within the community scheme grounds you must also annex a Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate (or an Occupation Certificate for the pool issued by Council or a private certifier in the last 3 years) to your Contract for sale of land. It is the responsible of the owners corporation to arrange for the swimming pool to be inspected and obtain the Certificate of Compliance. Once a Certificate of Compliance is issued a copy can be downloaded through the Swimming Pool Register website (www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au).

If you lease your property you are also affected!

If you are a Landlord and have a swimming pool on the property similar provisions apply. From 29 April 2014 you must attach a valid Certificate of Compliance (or Occupation Certificate issued in the last 3 years) to a Residential Tenancy Agreement at the time the Agreement is entered into and the tenant must receive a copy of the Compliance Certificate.

You can obtain further information from www.swimming poolregister.nsw.gov.au or this useful factsheet http://www.dlg.nsw.gov.au/dlg/dlghome/documents/Information/Selling%20a%20property%20with%20a%20pool%20-%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf