Do you own a house with a swimming pool?

Published 23 Apr 2014
Louis Andreatta

DO YOU OWN A HOUSE WITH A SWIMMING POOL OR A RESIDENTIAL UNIT WHERE THERE IS A SWIMMING POOL ON THE COMMON PROPERTY OF THE STRATA PLAN?

On the 29th October 2012 the Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012 took effect. That Act regulates fencing and safety requirements for the owners of swimming pools in NSW.

The main objectives of the Act include:

• To establish a state wide online register of all swimming pools in NSW (called the "Online Swimming Pool Register");

• To require swimming pool owners to register their swimming pool on the State Register;

• To require Councils to conduct mandatory periodic inspections of swimming pools;

• To allow certifiers accredited under the Building Professionals Act 2005 to conduct inspections and issue Certificates of Compliance for swimming pools when requested by swimming pool owners;

• To amend the Conveyancing and Residential Leases law to require Vendors and Landlords to have a valid Swimming Pool Certificate of Compliance before they may offer the property for sale or lease from 29 April 2015;

As a result from 29 April 2015 any Contract for sale of a house or residential unit which includes a swimming pool must have attached to it a valid Swimming Pool Certificate of Compliance or an Occupation Certificate.

The failure to attach a valid Swimming Pool Certificate of Compliance or Occupation Certificate to the Contract, will result in a Purchaser being entitled to rescind the Contract by notice in writing to the Vendor within 14 days after the date of the Contract.

If the Contract is rescinded by a Purchaser the Vendor must refund the deposit to the Purchaser.

Therefore, before residential premises can be marketed for sale, a complete Contract for Sale of Land must be prepared and if the property has a swimming pool, the Contract must have attached to it a valid Swimming Pool Certificate of Compliance or Occupation Certificate.

Under the new law a Council must carry out an inspection within 10 business days where an inspection is requested by a swimming pool owner for the purposes of sale or lease.

If the Council is satisfied the swimming pool complies with the fencing and safety requirements of the Swimming Pools Act, a Swimming Pool Certificate of Compliance will be issued and details must be recorded on the Online Swimming Pool Register.

The owner will then be able to download a copy of the Certificate of Compliance to satisfy the new sale and leasing requirements.

Similarly from 29 April 2015 when a Landlord enters into a Residential Tenancy Agreement, the Landlord must ensure that the swimming pool on the premises is registered under the Swimming Pool Act and has a valid Certificate of Compliance or Occupation Certificate. The Certificate must be provided to the Tenant.

Failure on the part of a Landlord or the Landlord's agent to attach a Swimming Pool Certificate of Compliance to the Lease will give rise to a breach of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and could result in a penalty of $440.00 or a court imposed penalty of $2,200.00 for each offence.

Moreover, from 29 April 2015, where a residential lease of a property includes a swimming pool an additional clause must be added to the Lease informing the Tenant of the Landlord's obligations under the Swimming Pool Act.

A Swimming Pool Certificate of Compliance remains valid for a period of 3 years from the date upon which it is issued but ceases to be valid if a Direction Notice is issued by Council in respect of the swimming pool to which the Certificate relates.