In New South Wales all swimming pools located in a property are governed by the safety legislation known as the Swimming Pools Act 1992 (the Act) and the Swimming Pools Regulation 2008.

A comprehensive review of the Act was conducted in 2012, and a number of amendments were designed to enhance the safety of the children. Swimming pools now need to be surrounded by a child restraint barrier.

As per the new Act, the Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012 (the Amendment Act), owners are required to have their pool fences inspected. This is to determine whether or not they meet the required safety standards, before selling or leasing their property.

On 29 October 2012, the Amendment Act came into effect and made a number of amendments to the Act.

The legislative amendments intended for pool owners are outlined below:

  • Swimming pool owners must register their pools through online registration as given by the NSW State Government;
  • Swimming pool owners must self-assess their pools, and give a statement in the register, mentioning that their swimming pools *Meet all the safety standards as required;
  • Ff swimming pool owners fail to register their pools, a penalty of $220 is levied;
  • Before selling or leasing out a property with a swimming pool, the seller should provide a valid swimming pool Compliance Certificate; and

Uupon swimming pool owner’s initiative, the attributed certifiers right under the Building Professional Act 2005, might carry out a swimming pool inspection.

How Does This Affect the Lessor & the Lessee

In regard to the leasing process, the Residential Tenancies Regulation 2010 will be amended to the effect that, as from 29 April 2014, a lessor of a property containing a swimming pool must ensure that the pool is registered. It must either have a Compliance Certificate or an Occupation Certificate with authorising use of the swimming pool by not more than 3 years old child. However, concerns have risen regarding the same, as to how a lot owner in a strata scheme can comply with this in relation to a swimming pool on the common property.

How Does This Affect the Seller & the Buyer

A seller has to ensure that the newly prescribed warning statement is incorporated into the Contract of Sale, which was exchanged on or after 1 September 2010, even if the property is without a swimming pool.

If any swimming pool is there in a property, the seller must give a legal assurance that the pool is compliant with the latest safety requirements. However, if the seller has not obtained the Compliance Certificate as issued by the Council, the concerned must make necessary arrangements by means of the local government authority. It should be done in order to obtain such certificate before advertising the property for sale.

A buyer at the outset should ensure that the vendor has provided a ‘Warning Statement’ about the pool in the given form there in the Contract of Sale.

It is to be noted that the buyer must also inquire with both the local government authority and the seller, whether or not the pool located in the property is compliant and has been subjected to appropriate Compliance Certificate.

In such cases the accountability lies on the buyer to assure that the pool is compliant and to get the Compliance Certificate directly from the Council, if at all the swimming pool is not compliant as indicated by the Amendment Act guidelines.

If you want to sell or buy a property that has a swimming pool, just feel free to get in touch with our team of experts at Owen Hodge Lawyers.

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