Are you considering selling or leasing your property that has a swimming pool or spa pool? If the answer is yes, you need a certificate of compliance or non-compliance. From the 29 April 2016, all properties being sold or leased with a swimming pool or spa pool need a valid certificate of compliance, non-compliance or an occupation certificate to be annexed to the Contract for Sale, the Lease or the Residential Tenancy Agreement.
After this date, a property with a pool cannot be advertised for sale or lease if it does not have a valid certificate of compliance, non-compliance or an occupation certificate.
If the Contract for Sale does not have a certificate attached it could be deemed an incomplete contract, meaning the contract could be rescinded. A Lease or Residential Tenancy Agreement could also be deemed invalid if no certificate is attached.
If a property is to be sold with a non-compliance certificate attached to the contract then the purchaser has 90 days to fix the pools barrier concerns.
Local councils are responsible for promoting and enforcing swimming pool safety in their local communities which they do through swimming pool inspection programs. The council can order a property owner to remedy any defects on a swimming pool barrier.
It is important to note that a swimming pool includes any pool with a depth of 30cm or more.
The need for a compliance certificate is not the first law placing restrictions on swimming pools. From 29 April 2013, pool owners have been required to register their swimming pools on an online register. If you have not already done so, you should register without delay, penalties may apply (www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au).
To obtain a certificate of compliance, you will first need to have your pool registered on the swimming pool register. Then contact either your local council or an independent accredited certifier who is registered with the Building Professionals Board. Independent accredited certifiers can be found on the Building Professionals Board website at www.bpb.nsw.gov.au
Evidence suggests that around 95% of pools will fail to obtain a certificate of compliance at the first inspection. Councils advise that it can take up to 90 days to rectify faults in safety barriers before they can issue a certificate of compliance, mainly due to the unavailability of qualified contractors to make any needed repairs or remediation work.
Requirements to obtain a certificate of compliance vary depending on the age of the pool. If you want to view the standards for your pool, contact the council to make an appointment.
To avoid any unnecessary delays in selling or leasing your property, be proactive and give yourself plenty of time.
Get a certificate of compliance now.
If you require further information, please contact JMA Legal or the local council.
By Margot Gill
This article is general information only and should not be relied on without obtaining further specific information.