Changes to NSW Pool Legislation
Drowning is a leading cause of preventable death in children under 5 years of age. A number of new laws were introduced to improve the safety of children around swimming pools in NSW.
These changes include:
i. Swimming pool owners are required to register their swimming pool.
ii. From 29 October 2013 local councils will be carrying out inspection programs.
iii. From 29 April 2014 all tourist, visitor and multi occupancy developments are require a valid compliance certificate if they have a swimming pool.
iv. From 29 April 2016 a valid compliance certificate is required to lease or sell any property with a swimming pool and will need to be attached to the sale contract or given to the tenant.
v. If you are a landlord and the property you are leasing has a swimming pool it is your responsibility to register the pool, and obtain the compliance certificate. A representative, such as a managing agent, can arrange this on your behalf. If the property you lease is part of a strata scheme it is the responsibility of the owners corporation to ensure that their property complies with these new requirements.
vi. If you are a tenant and the property you are leasing has a swimming pool you do not need to have it registered or obtain a compliance certificate as this is the landlord’s responsibility. Landlords will be required to give new tenants a copy of a compliance certificate.
Visit the NSW Swimming Pools Register for further information, including how to register and obtain a compliance certificate.
Leasing and Selling Swimming Pool Compliance
When selling your property, a valid Certificate of Compliance issued under the Swimming Pools Act 1992, or an Occupation Certificate for swimming pools less than 3 years old, is a prescribed document that MUST be annexed to the Contract for Sale or provided to the tenant.
Vendors can transfer the obligation of obtaining a Certificate of Compliance to the purchaser by attaching a certificate of non-compliance. The buyer of a non-compliant swimming pool has 90 days from the date of settlement to address any issues and obtain a certificate of compliance.
Failure to annex a valid Certificate to the Contract for Sale may allow your purchaser to rescind the Contract for Sale within 14 days of exchange.
A Certificate of Compliance may only be issued by Council or an accredited certifier once the inspector has inspected the swimming pool and is satisfied that the requirements have been met - the swimming pool must be registered and must comply with all safety requirements in accordance with the Act. Council or an accredited certifier can issue a notice requiring works to be undertaken to the swimming pool if it is non-compliant. The inspector can charge a maximum fee of $150.00 for the first inspection of the swimming pool and a maximum fee of $100.00 for each additional inspection of the swimming pool and may refuse to issue the Certificate of Compliance until the fee has been paid.
Where there is a swimming pool situated on the common property or another lot within a strata scheme, you are still required to comply with the Act and obtain a valid Certificate of Compliance or an Occupation Certificate.
Visit NSW fair trading for more information and to find an accredited certifier.