Properties with Swimming Pools – New Law from 29 April 2016

Posted on April 1, 2016 | Posted in:

Homeowners with a Swimming Pool

From Friday 29 April 2016, properties sold with a swimming pool and/or a spa pool must have a Certificate of Registration as well as one of the following:-

  • a relevant Occupation Certificate;
  • a Certificate of Compliance; or
  • a Certificate of Non-Compliance

issued from the NSW Swimming Pool Register or a relevant Authority, a Certificate showing whether or not their pool fencing and other requirements are compliant with the Swimming Pools Act 1992.

Amendments to the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2010 will impose a new Contract requirement for vendors to supply a valid Swimming Pool Certificate, whether or not compliant, to be annexed as a ‘prescribed document’ to a Contract for Sale.

Failure to annex the prescribed documents is an offence under Section 66R Conveyancing Act 1919 and may give a purchaser the right to rescind the Contract.

In effect this means, from 29 April 2016:-

  1. The homeowners/vendors are now able to transfer the obligation of obtaining a Certificate of Compliance to the purchaser, as a Certificate of Non-Compliance can also be annexed to the Contract for Sale together with a special condition disclosing its non-compliance; and
  2. The purchaser of a property with a non-compliant swimming pool has 90 days from the date of settlement to address any issues of non-compliance and obtain a Certificate of Compliance

The purchaser who fails to make the swimming pool compliant after settlement can incur serious consequences and penalties, including but not limited to being issued with an infringement notice and a work order, as the property will be ‘on notice’.

Exemption

These new requirements do not apply to the strata and community schemes comprising more than two lots and off-the-plan Contracts.

Leased property

The homeowners/landlords with two or fewer dwellings and a pool must ensure that their tenant is provided with a copy of a valid Certificate of Compliance at the time the lease is entered into because the landlords have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for their tenants.

How do you obtain such a Certificate?

To obtain a compliance certificate, the homeowner must arrange for the swimming pool or spa to be inspected by the local council or a private certifier. This can be a time consuming process and there are reports that the whole process may take over three (3) months, mainly due to the unavailability of requisite qualified contractors to make any needed repairs or conduct remediation works.

The costs involved in obtaining such a Certificate will depend on the number of inspections being carried out. Our enquiries estimate that each inspection will cost up to $200.