Selling a property with a swimming pool or spa pool

25 Feb 2014
EAC
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What ’s new?

New laws about swimming pool safety come into force from 29 April 2014.

What do you need to do?

From 29 April 2014, all properties with a swimming pool or spa pool that are sold must have a valid swimming pool certificate of compliance. This includes any property with a swimming pool or spa pool that is on the market for lease at 29 April 2014.

What type of pool is included?

‘Swimming pools and spa pools’ includes in ground, above-ground, indoor, portable and other types of pools and spa pools that are capable of being filled to a depth of 300mm or more of water. Bathroom spas that are used as baths and emptied after use are not included.

Which pools does this apply to?

The new laws apply to swimming pools or spa pools associated with:
– Private houses, townhouses, units and other strata and community schemes, and moveable dwellings
– Hotels, motels and serviced apartments
– Backpackers’ accommodation
– Homestay, farm stay and bed and breakfast accommodation
– Other tourist and visitor accommodation (excluding camping grounds, caravan parks and eco-tourist facilities).

What is a swimming pool certificate of compliance?

A swimming pool certificate of compliance certifies that the pool and pool barrier meet the safety requirements.

Contracts for the sale of land

Before entering into a contract:
A valid swimming pool certificate of compliance must be attached to the contract for sale of properties with a swimming pool or spa pool from 29 April 2014. Therefore, from 29 April 2014, when a property with a swimming pool is being sold, a valid swimming pool certificate of compliance (or an occupation certificate issued within the last three years) and a valid Certificate of Registration must be attached to the Contract for the Sale of Land. Failure to attach the certificate means that the purchaser may be entitled to rescind the Contract at any time within 14 days of exchange, unless settlement has already occurred.

Swimming pool certificate of compliance Q&A

Q: How do I get a swimming pool certificate of compliance?
A: Your local council or an accredited certifier under the Building Professional Act can conduct an inspection, and issue a certificate of compliance if the swimming pool or spa pool meets all the safety requirements.

Q: How can I check if a swimming pool already has a certificate of compliance?
A: The NSW Swimming Pool Register provides information on registered pools and whether a certificate of compliance has been issued. You can search the register by the property address. Go to www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au

Q: Is an Occupation Certificate adequate?
A: An Occupation Certificate that is less than three years old and that authorises the use of the swimming pool can take the place of a certificate of compliance. If such an Occupation Certificate is annexed to the Contract for Sale, the swimming pool registration certificate (created when the pool was registered on the NSW Swimming Pool Register) should also be provided.

Q: How long does the certificate of compliance remain valid?
A: A swimming pool certificate of compliance is valid for a period of three years from the date of its issue.

Q: Where there is a pool on common property, such as strata or community title property, does every unit owner need to have the pool inspected separately?
A: No. In case of strata, the owners corporation (the body corporate) should arrange for the swimming pool to be inspected and obtain the certificate of compliance. Individual lot owners may access the certificate of compliance through the Swimming Pool Register website (at www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au).

The information contained in this fact sheet is of a general nature only, and is not a substitute for legal advice.

Source: NSW Government, Be Pool Safe

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